Licence - Caravan Site

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.  The term caravan includes “mobile homes” or “Park Homes” for these purposes.

Do I need a licence?

Yes, unless your circumstances are included in the exemptions below:

  • A caravan sited within 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 owned or operated by the local authority and which may be occupied by Gypsies/Travellers
  • 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 can be transferred to a new occupier but the law requires us to agree to the transfer. You should send us the licence with a request for transfer and we will either approve or re-issue it.

What do I need to do in order to get a licence?

The applicant must be entitled to use the land as a caravan site.  This means that a valid planning permission must have been granted (not applied for, pending or waiting for appeal decision).  Any Caravan Site Licence application must include a site plan at scale 1:500, which shows the layout of roads, caravans and facilities.

Licences will not be issued to applicants who have had a site licence removed within three years of the current application.

How do I apply for a licence?

Applications for site licences must be made to the local authority in whose area the land is situated.  Applications must be in writing, detailing the land the application concerns and any other information required by the local authority.  Where an application is for a permanent residential site, there is a fee for making an application.  Here are details of our Fees and Charges.

You can apply for a licence for a permanent licence online.  Where the application is for a holiday park, please contact the Health and Housing team for an application form by emailing

If you have not heard from the Council by the end of the target completion period of 2 months, then you can act as though your application has been granted.

Will there be any conditions attached to the licence?

Conditions may also be attached to a licence to cover any of the following:

  • 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
  • controlling the types of caravans on the site
  • controlling the positioning of the caravans or regulating the use of other structures and vehicles including tents
  • to ensure steps are taken enhance the land, including planting / replanting bushes and trees
  • fire safety and fire fighting controls
  • to ensure that sanitary and other facilities, services and equipment are supplied and maintained

To find out more, please view the current Caravan Site Licence Conditions (pdf 35kb).

The Council may change conditions at any time but must give licence holders the opportunity to give their views on the proposed changes. If a licence holder disagrees with the changes they may appeal to the local Magistrates' court. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the written notification of the changes and a notice of appeal must be served on the Council.

What can I do if you reject my application?

You are advised to take up any issue with the Council in the first instance.  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.

Can I Transfer my site licence

You can transfer your caravan site licence to another person by making an application to us and paying a fee.  We are working to make this facility available online and you can contact the Health and Housing Team on 01785 619000 or email

What if I am worried about how a site is being managed?

If you are concerned with noise, smoke, nuisance or waste from a site then you should contact Regulatory Services for advice on 01785 619000 or

If you are a resident concerned that site licence conditions are not being complied with, you can contact the Health and Housing Team on 01785 619000 or email

Where can I get advice on buying a new caravan or complaining about a faulty one?

Caravans are classed by law as belongings (like a car or trailer) rather than a dwelling/house.  Therefore, any complaints about buying a caravan to go on a pitch must go through Trading Standards rather than us.  Advice can be gained from the Citizens Advice Bureau or, from outside the UK, the UK European Consumer Centre.

Tel: 01785 619000
Related documents
Caravan Site Licence Conditions (pdf 35kb)
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