Caravan site licence
All residential caravan sites and non-residential caravan sites will need planning permission and a site licence. There is no fee for non-residential site licences.
The legislation applicable to this licence is Caravan sites and Control of Development Act 1960.
When you need a licence
Tented camp sites
All tented sites which operate for more than 42 consecutive days or for more than 60 days in total in any 12 consecutive months must be licensed by a local authority under Section 269 of the Public Health Act 1936. In addition planning permission is required for any site where tented camping occurs for more than 28 days per year. Until 31 December 2021 this has been relaxed to 56 days per year.
Specified recreational organisations can obtain an exemption certificate from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) which will allow them to camp on land without a site licence or planning permission. An exemption certificate is valid for 5 years and is issued subject to strict criteria. Relevant organisations are listed on the DEFRA website.
Permanent holiday caravan sites
Caravan sites with permanently sited caravans which are let to holiday makers are licensed by the council under Section 3 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960. Such sites must have planning permission before they are issued with a licence.
Touring caravan sites
Caravan sites with touring caravans which are let to holiday makers are licensed by the council under Section 3 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960. Such sites must have planning permission before they are issued with a licence.
Conditions of licence
The licence has conditions attached which must be complied with. They are usually based on model conditions issued by central government but may have slight variations.
Conditions may 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 to 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
The site licence and its conditions must be prominently displayed at each site.
Licences must be renewed if there is a change of site licence operator, operator address or number of pitches.
Apply for a licence
Apply for a caravan site licence on GOV.UK, or notify us of changes to an existing licence. Alternatively, you can download and complete an application for a site licence.
If you are applying to transfer a caravan site licence please complete and return the transfer of caravan site licence application form.
Tacit consent does not apply. It is in the public interest that the we must process your application before it can be granted.
You are advised to contact us about any issue in the first instance.
If your application to alter a condition is refused, you can 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 council.
Register of licensed camping and caravan sites
View the public register of licensed camping and caravan sites.