The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 requires that land used as a caravan site must be licensed by the local authority. The licence must be displayed permanently on the site.

A site licence is needed so that standards can be regulated. This includes the distance between homes and the safety and adequacy of services such as drainage, electrical and water supplies.

Requirements for granting a site licence

  • Land cannot be used as a caravan site without a valid licence having been issued.
  • The Local Authority is prohibited from issuing a licence unless the land has planning permission for use as a caravan site.
  • If planning permission is temporary the site licence will expire at the same time as the planning permission.
  • Conditions may be attached to the licence to cover any of the following:
    • Restricting when caravans can be on the site for habitation or restricting the number of caravans on the site
    • Controlling the types of caravans, their position or regulating the use of structures and vehicles, including tents
    • Ensuring steps are taken to enhance the land, fire safety controls and ensuring sanitary and other facilities are maintained.
  • An applicant must be entitled to use the land for a site.
  • Licences will not be issued to applicants who have had a site revoked within three years of the current application and/or does not have planning permission to use the land as a caravan site.

Definition of a Caravan

A caravan is any structure, designed or adapted for human habitation, which is capable of being moved from one place to another (towed or transported), provided its dimensions, when assembled, do not exceed the following:

  • (a) Length (exclusive of any drawbar) 20m (65.6ft)
  • (b) Width: 6.8m (22.3ft)
  • (c) Overall height (measured internally from the floor at the lowest level to the ceiling at the highest level) 3.05m (10ft)

Static holiday homes - and the more modern residential park homes, which often arrive on site in two sections and are then bolted together are included within the definition. Tents and railway stock on rails within the railway system are not included in the definition of a caravan.

A Caravan Site Licence is not required for:

  • Incidental use within the curtilage of a dwelling house;
  • Single caravan used by a person for not more than two nights and 28 days in 12 months;
  • Holdings of five acres or more, if not more than 28 days in 12 months, and a maximum of three caravans at any time;
  • Sites occupied and supervised by exempted organisation;
  • Sites approved by exempted organisations for up to five caravans;
  • Meetings organised by exempted organisations;
  • Agricultural and forestry workers;
  • Building and engineering sites;
  • Travelling showmen (who are members of an organisation holding a certificate of exemption)
  • Sites operated and owned by a local council, county councils or regional councils.

Introduction of Licence Fees

Following introduction of the Mobile Homes Act 2013 The Local Authority will now charge site owners a fee for applying for a site licence, for amendments or transfers of existing licences, and for the majority of the sites in our Borough and annual fee for existing site licenses.

Licence Fees - Caravans, Camping Sites and Park Homes

Find more information in The Council's Icon for pdf Schedule of fees and charges [562.42KB]. (Page 85)

How to apply for a Caravan Site Licence

Online applications

Please enclose the appropriate fee with your application.

Online applications will be acknowledged by email. If your application is correctly made we will aim to process it within 30 working days. If this is not possible, we will inform you and provide an explanation.

Tacit consent applies to this application. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not received a response before the end of the target completion period.


You can appeal to the Magistrates Court against a refusal to grant a licence or a condition attached to your licence. If you wish to appeal please contact us, see contact details below. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the licence being issued or refused.

Enforcement of site licences

Local Authorities can serve compliance notices on site owners where site licence conditions are breached . These notices will set out what the site owner needs to do to correct the breaches and the timescales. Local Authorities may charge a fee for this enforcement. Failure to comply with the notice would be a criminal offence.