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Caravan site licensing

Caravan sites must be licensed under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960.

Camping sites require a different type of licence issued under the Public Health Act 1936. (Even if you hold a Caravan Site Licence)

Applications for site licences are made to the local authority in whose area the land situated. Applications must be in writing, should detail the land the application concerns, must include all planning permissions and any other information required by the local authority.


You don't need a licence to run a caravan site if:

  • A caravan sited with 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 occupied by the local authority. These are usually gypsy sites
  • 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

However, if you wish to change the use of the land to a permanent caravan site use you must have planning permission before a licence can be issued.

Types of Caravan Sites

The site will be licensed in accordance with the use determined by your planning permission.

The site may be given permission to be used as a holiday site for static vans or touring caravans, possibly including some residential use. It is not uncommon to find mixed use on a site.


The council may put conditions on the licence including:

  • how the site should be laid out
  • what type of caravans are allowed
  • what toilet and washing facilities should be provided
  • that the site can only be used in accordance with the relevant planning permission

You may be able to appeal to the Council or a local magistrates court if you disagree with any conditions. The council may change licence conditions at any time but we will discuss any changes with you.

How to apply

You must have planning permission for the caravan site before you apply for a licence.

You may have to pay a fee for a licence related to "protected sites".

Your licence will last as long as your planning permission for the caravan site.

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

Fines and penalties

You may be fined up to £2,500 if you:

  • don't get a licence
  • break any of your licence conditions

Your licence may be withdrawn if you repeatedly break your licence conditions.