Caravan site licence

To run a caravan or camping site, you need a licence from the local authority. The number of caravans permitted on the site will be specified on the licence along with other specific conditions.

The Caravan and Control of Development Act 1960 prohibits the use of land as a caravan site unless the occupier holds a site licence issued by the local authority.

There are some exceptions:

  • A caravan sited with the curtilage of a dwelling and its use is incidental to the dwelling. This means it cannot be occupied separately.
  • A single caravan sited for not more than two consecutive nights for a maximum of 28 days in any 12 months.
  • Up to three caravans on a site of not less than five acres for a maximum of 28 days in any 12 months.
  • Sites occupied by exempted organisations such as the Caravan Club.
  • Sites of up to 5 caravans certified by an exempt organisation and which are for members only.
  • Sites occupied by the local authority. These are usually gypsy sites.
  • Sites for temporary and special purposes such as caravan rallies, agricultural and forestry workers, building and engineering sites and travelling salesmen.
  • A site for tents only can be used for a maximum of 28 days in any 12 months.

Licences have conditions which may include:

  • Restricting when caravans can be on the site for human habitation or restricting the number of caravans that can be on the site at any one time.
  • The type of caravan, e.g. residential, static holiday or touring.
  • The permitted density (the number per acre/hectare) and the spacing between caravans.
  • Controlling the positioning of the caravans or regulating the use of other structures and vehicles including tents.
  • Ensuring that sanitary and other facilities, water supply, drainage, services and equipment are supplied and maintained.
  • Fire precautions, fire fighting controls and electrical installations.
  • To ensure steps are taken enhance the land, including planting/replanting bushes and trees.

If you are a caravan site occupier

You should have a licence already but you should check that your name, the site name and address is correct and up to date. Also check that the licence corresponds with your planning permission. If not, you should send us the licence for re-issue.

If you have recently become a caravan site occupier

Licences are transferable to a new occupier but the law requires us to give consent for the transfer. You should send us the licence with a request for transfer and we will either endorse or re-issue it.

If you are a potential site occupier

You or your legal advisor should check that all the land used for siting caravans has planning permission and that the details correspond with the site licence. If you wish to change the use of the land to a permanent caravan site use you must have planning permission before a licence can be issued.

Eligibility criteria

  • The applicant must be entitled to use the land as a caravan site.
  • Licences will not be issued to applicants who have had a site licence revoked within three years of the current application.

Application Evaluation Process

Applications for site licences are made to the local authority in whose area the land is situated.

Applications must be in writing, should detail the land the application concerns and any other information required by the local authority.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard anything within a reasonable period, please contact us using the details below.

Applying for a licence

An application must be completed and accompanied by a site plan at 1:500 scale showing the layout of roads, caravans and facilities.

Apply Online

Failed application redress

You are advised to take up any issue with the local authority first.

If a licence holder is refused an application to alter a condition they may appeal to the local Magistrates' court. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the written notification of the refusal and a notice of appeal must be served on the local council.

Licence holder redress

You are advised to take up any issue with the local authority first.

If a licence holder wishes to appeal against a condition attached to a licence they may appeal to the local Magistrates' Court. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the licence being issued.

We may alter conditions at any time but must give licence holders the opportunity to make representations about the proposed changes. If a licence holder disagrees with the alterations they may appeal to the local Magistrates' Court. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the written notification of the alteration and a notice of appeal must be served on the local council.

Consumer complaints

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Advice Guide will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.