Caravan sites and Licensing

The majority of camping and caravan sites require a licence from us. This includes the following types of sites:

  • Holiday sites
  • Mobile home parks, static caravans and touring caravan sites used for permanent occupation, including those used exclusively by Gypsies and Travellers
  • Mixed holiday and residential sites
  • Camping sites

Single mobile homes or caravans on land can be classed as a caravan site even if it is lived in by the owner of the land.

There are some exemptions to the licensing requirements which are listed in the "sites exempt from licensing" below.

Fit and proper person for protected residential site

Since 1 October 2021, the site owner or manager for a protected residential site (also known as a park home site) must be a "fit and proper person" and apply to us to be included in our register (available to download from the downloads panel below). If a manager is put forward as the "fit and proper person" to operate the site they must have sufficient control and authority to make decisions in relation to the site.


A site is exempt from this, if it's "a non-commercial family occupied site". This is where the site is only occupied by members of the same family and not being run on a commercial basis.

What we'll consider

To be satisfied that the relevant person is a fit and proper person to manage the site, and to add them to the register, we will consider:

  • past compliance with the site licence
  • the long term maintenance of the site
  • whether the relevant person has sufficient level of competence to manage the site
  • the management structure and funding arrangements for the site or proposed management structure and funding arrangements

We will also consider whether the relevant person:

  • has the right to work within the UK
  • has committed any offence involving fraud or other dishonesty, violence, arson or drugs or listed in Schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (offences attracting notification requirements)
  • has contravened any provision of the law relating to housing, caravan sites, mobile homes, public health, planning or environmental health or of landlord and tenant law
  • has contravened any provision of the Equality Act 2010 in, or in connection with, the carrying on of any business
  • has harassed any person in, or in connection with, the carrying on of any business
  • has had an application rejected by any other local authority
  • is, or has been within the past 10 years, personally insolvent
  • is, or has been within the last 10 years, disqualified from acting as a company director

We may also consider the conduct of any person associated or formerly associated with the relevant person (whether on a personal, work or other basis), if it appears that person’s conduct is relevant.

We can consider any evidence on any other relevant matters.

How to apply

You can apply to be added to our register by clicking the button below. There is an application fee and you will automatically be directed to payment. For information on fees see the fee section below. An entry on the register will last for a maximum of 5 years but we may specify a shorter time if deemed appropriate.

The applicant seeking entry on the register will need a basic DBS certificate (dated no more than 6 months before the date of the application) and this must be included with the application. The DBS certificate must be from an approved supplier. Information about how to arrange a DBS check can be found on the Government’s website via the external link below. 

Sites exempt from licensing

The following lists examples where sites are exempt from licensing.

  • 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 month
  • Sites occupied by exempted organisations such as the Caravan Club
  • Sites of up to five caravans certified by an exempt organisation and which are for members only
  • Sites occupied by us as the local authority
  • Sites for temporary and special purposes such as caravan rallies, agricultural and forestry workers, building and engineering sites and travelling salesmen

Further information about these exemptions can be found in schedule 1 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960.

Legislation and Mobile Homes Policy

The main pieces of legislation that regulate caravan sites are:

Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960

  • This contains the requirement for occupiers (this usually means the freehold owner) of caravan sites to hold a caravan site licence
  • It is a criminal offence to operate a caravan site without holding a site licence and anyone convicted of this offence can face an unlimited fine
  • It allows us to place conditions on the site licence to control matters such as the separation of homes (and other structures) for fire safety, to ensure that the electricity, water, gas and oil supplies are adequate and safe and to ensure that the site is maintained to a reasonable and safe standard
  • We can serve compliance notices on the site owners requiring that works are undertaken to remedy where site owners are in breach of their licence conditions. Failure to comply with a compliance notice is a criminal offence and anyone convicted of this offence can face an unlimited fine
  • In some cases, we can decide to undertake works, but this would normally be in exceptional circumstances such as an emergency

Mobile Homes Act 2013

This made some changes to the way that we can regulate licences. It also made changes to the relationship between the owners and residents of caravan sites.

We also have a policy that we follow for residential sites:

Mobile Homes Policy 

The Mobile Homes Policy was approved in 2021. This outlines the processes for new and existing residential sites including the fees charged. This policy is available to download in the downloads panel below. 

Planning permission

All caravan sites must have planning permission allowing the land to be used as a caravan site. The permission will detail the type of site and place conditions on it which can include

  • Whether the site is for permanent, seasonal or holiday occupation
  • The number and type of caravans / mobile homes that can be stationed on the land
  • Whether there are any restrictions on whom can live there – for example, is it a site that is only designated for use by Gypsies and Travellers, and what is meant by that definition?

A caravan site licence cannot be granted if the site does not have the required planning permission. In addition, the site licence is governed by the planning permission so if there are any restrictions on the planning permission (for example, times of the year or it is temporary permission only), the site licence will mirror those conditions.

Licence conditions

The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 has given Councils the power to attach conditions to licences. These conditions can do the following functions

  • Restricting the occasions on which caravans are to be stationed, or the total number of caravans to be stationed at any time
  • Controlling the types of caravans on site
  • Regulating the positions in which caravans are to be stationed, and for regulating or prohibiting the placing of structures, vehicles and tents on the land
  • Ensuring that amenities and supplies are adequate and maintained, including water, electrical, gas and oil installations
  • Ensuring correct separation between caravans / mobile homes and other structures to minimise the risk of fire spreading
  • Securing and maintaining adequate sanitary and other facilities, services and equipment

The Government have specified model standards which we are directed to have regard to when deciding what (if any) conditions to attach to the site licence.

All new residential sites (except those with a planning condition restricting occupation to Gypsies and Travellers only) will have conditions based on the Model Standards 2008 for Caravan Sites in England.


Holiday Caravan Sites

There are currently no fees charged for holiday caravan site applications.

Residential Caravan Sites

The Mobile Homes Policy was approved in 2021. The policy states the fees that are applicable. These fees are shown in the tables below.

Application fees

  Band 1 (0-10 units) Band 2 (11-40 units) Band 3 (41 plus units)
New licence application fee £495 £524 £559
Transfer fee £169 £169 £169
Fit and proper person checks fee £256 £256 £256
Variation of licence fee (no inspection) £268 £268 £268
Variation of licence fee (with inspection) £338 £343 £373
Depositing site rules fee £140 £140 £140

Annual fees

  Band 1 (2 - 10 units) Band 2 (11 - 40 units) Band 3 (41 plus units)
Annual fee £216 £245 £274

Residential sites with one pitch are exempt from paying an annual fee

Information for buying, selling or renting a mobile home/caravan

If you are considering purchasing or renting a mobile home/static caravan for a permanent occupation that you are strongly advised to check the following matters:

Planning Permission

  • Does the site have the required planning permission to be a caravan site?
  • Are there any restrictions on whom can live on the site? For example is it only allowed for people who meet the Planning definition of Gypsies and Travellers?
  • Are there any restrictions on the amount of time the site can be occupied? For example, is it allowed to be occupied for all or only part of the year?

Site Licence and rules

  • Does the current owner of the site hold a site licence? 
  • What conditions have been applied to the licence and will this affect you for example some licences prohibit the storage of touring caravans on the site?
  • Are there any issues with the site licence that may affect your occupation?
  • Does the site have any site rules that you must comply with? 


If you are looking to purchase a mobile home, especially if it is as your permanent home, you are strongly advised to have conveyancing undertaken by a solicitor / legal adviser who has knowledge of this field. The solicitor / legal adviser should be able to make checks on planning and licensing for the site and if there are subsequent problems that they should have informed you about you can seek redress from them.

This advice applies whether you are looking to purchase the home directly from the site owner or from an existing mobile homeowner.

Selling a Home

There are rules on the selling of mobile home including how much commission the site owner can charge the resident on the sale of a property.

Further information

Further details on buying or selling a mobile home can be obtained from the external links section at the bottom of this page.


Our holiday caravan and camping register, and protected residential site register with the inclusion the "fit and proper person", is available to download below.

Last updated 1 April 2024
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