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.

How long does the licence last?

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.

New legislation – Mobile Homes Act 2013

On 26 March 2013 the Mobile Homes Act 2013 was enacted.  This new law has introduced a number of changes all of which have now been implemented.

Some of the changes include the following:

  • a seller of a park home no longer needs to seek approval of the buyer from the site owner
  • new forms are to be completed if a site owner wants to increase pitch fees
  • certain site rules have been banned and there are new procedures for a site owner to follow if they want to make a new site rule, which has been specified in the Mobile Homes Act (Site Rules)(England) Regulations 2014 
  • it has been made less onerous to prove an offence of harassment of an occupier of a park home 
  • it has created a new offence of providing false or misleading information to deter the purchase of a mobile home going ahead.

The final part of the new legislation saw the implementation of further enforcement powers for the Local Authority and the introduction of fees & charges for the administration costs & monitoring compliance of the licences and separate charges for any formal enforcement action taken.