You need a licence if you want to run a caravan and/or camping site.
Apply for a licence - caravans and camping sites
You must be entitled to use the land as a caravan and/or camping site.
You will not be issued a licence if you have had a site licence revoked within three years of your current application. You will need to make a new application if you need to transfer or change your licence.
Applications for site licences should be made directly to us, in writing, with details of the land the application relates to, and any other necessary information.
We may put conditions on any successful licence application, such as:
- when caravans can be on the site for use
- how many caravans can be used at once
- what type of caravans are allowed
- how the site should be laid out
- what fire safety and fire fighting controls are required
- what toilet and washing facilities should be provided
- what must be done to make sure the land in the caravan area is in good shape
You won't need a licence if:
- the caravan is within the boundaries of your house and used by the people living in the house
- the site is five or more acres and there are three or less caravans there for 28 days or less a year
- the caravan is not there for more than two consecutive nights, for a maximum of 28 days a year
- you're a member of an organisation, like a caravan club, and have a caravan exemption certificate
- your site is approved by an organisation with a caravan exemption certificate
- the site is occupied by the council (these are usually traveller sites)
- agricultural and forestry workers, builders or travelling salesmen, who stay temporarily in caravans on the site
We will process your application as quickly as possible, if you have not heard from us within three months of making your application you can assume that the licence has been approved.
You can appeal if:
- you're refused a licence
- you're a licence holder and are unhappy with a condition attached to your licence
- you're unhappy with the decision of a licence review and the withdrawing of a certificate
If you're planning to appeal, please contact the council in the first instance. Appeals must then be made to the local magistrates' court within 21 days of the licensing decision.
If a member of the public has a complaint about your licence, we always advise for that person to contact you directly, preferably in the form a letter, with proof of delivery. If this does not work we advise the person to contact the Citizens Advice Guide, or the UK European Consumer Centre if they’re outside the UK.
If you are a caravan site occupier you should have a licence already. Check that your name, the site name and the address are correct and up to date. Also check that the licence corresponds with your planning permission. If not, you should send us the licence for re-issue.
There is a fee of for simple variations and an application will need to be made, fees can be found on the caravan licensing page.
If you have recently become a caravan site occupier, licences are transferable to a new occupier but you should advise us of the change, so that consent for the transfer can be issued. A transfer application will need to be made in writing using the transfer application, please email the licensing department for more information.
If you are a potential site occupier, you or your legal advisor should check that all the land used for siting caravans has planning permission and that the details correspond with the site licence. If you wish to change the use of the land to permanent caravan site use, you must have planning permission before a license can be issued.
- Association of caravan and camping exempted organisations (ACCEO)
- British holiday and home parks association (BH&HPA)
- British resorts and destinations association
- Federation of tour operators (FTO)
- Hotel Marketing Association
- Group Travel Organisers Association (GTOA)
- National Caravan Council (NCC)
- Choose a competent fire risk assessor
- Buying a park home – things to consider - Park Homes (lease-advice.org)