Caravan and mobile home park site licence
Apply for a caravan and mobile home park or camping site licence
The Caravan Sites & Control of Development Act 1960 prohibits the use of land as a caravan site unless the owner/occupier holds a site licence issued by the Local Authority.
We can only issue a licence for a site which has obtained the necessary planning permission and submitted a fully completed application form with all additional information required.
What do you need to apply for a site licence?
To apply for a licence an application form must be completed and submitted accompanied with all the following information:
- Site plan of 1:500 scale showing the layout of all roads, caravans and facilities
- A current and valid electrical installation condition report for the distribution on site of the electric supply to each caravan (unless each caravan is supplied directly by the utility company)
- A fire risk assessment for the site
- Copy of the planning permission for the site
Are conditions imposed on a site licence?
There are a set of “Site Conditions” which are attached to the site licence and these set out the minimum standards for that particular site. The site conditions can cover a range of aspects such as:
- Siting and conditions of roads and footpaths
- The layout of the site (including minimum distances between homes & boundaries)
- Fire precautions and risk assessment
- Gas installations and storage of fuels
- Electrical safety
- Water supply, drainage & sanitation
Additional conditions may be applied to individual sites dependent on local circumstances.
See below for the standard conditions used on a site licence – please note we may amend or add to these with regards to the specific site being licensed.
Who is responsible for ensuring compliance with a site licence?
Our Environmental Health team are responsible for ensuring that the conditions attached to the site licence are met and adhered to by the owner of the site. The owner in turn, must ensure that the residents, tenants or users of their site, are aware and comply with the site conditions attached to the licence.
We will carry out annual inspections and where necessary more frequently to assess compliance with the site conditions.
Whilst we will always endeavour to work with a site owner to ensure compliance with the site licence and safe conditions on their site in the first instance, we do have enforcement powers under the Mobile Homes Act 2013 that we may use, should all informal attempts to resolve issues have been exhausted and unsuccessful.
Please be aware that as of 1 April 2014 we adopted a charging policy as permitted by the Mobile Homes Act 2013 for any formal enforcement action that has been taken under the Act.
Are there any exemptions?
There are some exemptions where a site licence is not required, these are:
- A caravan sited within the curtilage of a dwelling and its use is incidental to the dwelling, which 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 exempted organisation and which are for members only.
- Sites occupied by the Local Authority.
- 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 which is used for a maximum of 28 days in any 12 months.
The site licence runs in parallel with the planning permission and therefore expires if/when the planning permission does.
How long do I have to comply with the conditions?
Where an application is submitted for a newly created site, it would be expected that the site be fully compliant with all the conditions from the date of issuing the licence. We have the right to refuse to issue a licence to any site should we not be satisfied that it meets or will meet the standards required in the conditions.
How much will the licence cost?
There is a fee that must be paid upon submission of the application form and the application will only be considered upon receipt of this payment. In addition, once a site licence has been issued there is an annual fee that is paid for the cost of the administration and monitoring of the licence undertaken by our team.
Site rules on residential mobile home sites ensure community cohesion and good management of the site, while also making sure that mobile home owners are clear of the rules that apply to them.
The Mobile Homes (Site Rules) Regulations 2014 detail the procedure that a site owner must use when making, varying or deleting a site rule. They establish the process for consulting on proposed changes, grant appeals rights and require local authorities to keep and publish a register of site rules of sites in their area. Ours can be found as part of our register of licensed caravan site.
Once the new rules are agreed, the site owner must deposit the new site rules with the Council by completing the declaration form (link below) and submitting this along with a copy of the rules within 42 days of either their consultation response document being served or the outcome of any appeal hearing.
New Regulations – Fit and Proper Person Test
On 23 September 2020, the Mobile Homes (Requirement for Manager of Site to be Fit and Proper Person) (England) Regulations 2020 were enacted. These new regulations introduced a fit & proper person test for mobile home site owners and/or managers (unless otherwise exempted) and require the Council to maintain and make publicly available a register of those assessed as a 'fit and proper person' to hold a licence. These regulations come into force on 1 October 2021 and apply to existing sites as well as new sites.
How long does a Fit & Proper Person Test last?
If an applicant is assessed to be 'fit and proper', they are entered onto the register for a period determined by the Council of up to a maximum of five years. At the end of this period, the site owner/manager will need to reapply if they wish to continue to be included on the register.
These regulations only apply to relevant protected sites (permanent residential) which are operated on a commercial basis. Where a site is occupied solely by the site owner or members of their family, they are exempt from the requirements of the regulations for as long as this remains the case. However, should circumstances change and unit(s) are rented out to non-family members then the site owner or manager will need to apply to be included on the register.
If you are operating a site and the site owner/manager is not included on the Fit and Proper Person register it is a criminal offence and if found guilty, on summary conviction, you would be liable for an unlimited fine.
When do I need to apply by?
All existing site owners/managers will need to apply by midnight on 30 September 2021 to ensure they are compliant with the regulations.
For new sites, the Fit and Proper Person test is a separate application to that for a site licence but it would be encouraged that new sites apply for both at the same time.
How much will a Fit and Proper Person test cost and how do I apply?
There is a fee that must be paid upon submission of the Fit and Proper Person test application form and the application will only be considered valid upon receipt of this payment. Current fee can be found in our fees and charges list below.
To apply, please complete the Fit and Proper Person application form and submit:
Licensing and Fees in relation to Caravan Sites