Mobile home / caravan sites

Information about the licensing of mobile home sites

If you want to use land as a mobile home/caravan site, including for a single caravan/unit,  you will need a site licence*. There are exemptions to this - see further information below.

There are two types of caravan site that may need a licence - holiday/touring sites and residential sites.

What counts as a caravan/mobile home?

A caravan is any structure designed or adapted for people to live in, which is capable of being moved from one place to another (towed or transported), provided its size does not exceed 20m in length, 6.8m wide and 3.05m in height.  Tents (and camping) and railway stock on rails within the railway system are not included in the definition of a caravan.

View a full definition of a caravan This link will take you to an external website... .

*Under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 This link will take you to an external website...

There are conditions attached to the licence you will need to achieve, which aim to achieve appropriate safety and amenity standards for caravans and mobile home sites.  Please note we may amend these conditions to suit individual circumstances.

The council will need to carry out a site visit to check the facilities before issuing your licence.

Planning permission

Please note: We are unable to consider applications for caravan licences unless planning permission is in place on the site.  Contact Planning for more information.

Application Form

Please contact Environmental Protection to request an application form.

Application and Annual Fees

The council have powers under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 (the Act) as amended by the Mobile Homes Act 2013 (the 2013 Act) to issue licences and to charge fees for the provision of our licensing functions.  This power came into force on 01 April 2014.

These fees are specified on the Environmental Health Licencing Fees webpage

Our fees policy can be downloaded from the right hand side of the page.

Deposited Site Rules 

Site rules are different to site licence conditions and are put in place by the owner of a site to ensure acceptable standards are maintained which will be of benefit to occupiers or will promote community cohesion on the site.

Owners of mobile homes sites have 12 months from the 01 April 2014 to deposit site rules with the local authority. 

Site inspections

A risk rating inspection system is used by the council and introduces a sliding scale of annual charges based on the risk/inspection frequency.  This means a site which is more problematic will pay a higher licence fee than one which requires little regulatory involvement from the council. 


You don't need a site licence for:

  • incidental use within the curtilage of a home (e.g. a caravan kept on a domestic driveway for private use by the owners)
  • single caravans for not more than two nights and 28 days in 12 months
  • holdings of five acres or more if not more than 28 days in 12 months and maximum three caravans at any time
  • sites occupied and supervised by exempted organisations (e.g. the Caravan Club)
  • sites approved by exempted organisations for up to five caravans
  • meetings organised by exempted organisations
  • seasonal agriculture and forestry workers
  • building and engineering sites
  • travelling showmen
  • sites occupied by a local authority
  • gypsy sites occupied by county or regional councils

View a copy of the legislation This link will take you to an external website... detailing the exemptions in full.


We aim to process applications within two months.  There is no deemed approval of applications until a licence is granted.

Depending on the status of the site's planning permission a licence will be granted either permanently or for a fixed period.  If the licence is for a fixed period the expiry date will be stated on the licence.

Renewal of licences

It is the applicant's responsibility to apply and ensure that the necessary planning permission is in place before an application for renewal of a licence is submitted.

Appeals and complaints

If you have concerns about how your application is handled the first point of contact will be the case officer dealing with your application.  If you are still not satisfied you can lodge a complaint with their line manager.  If you are dissatisfied with a condition attached to your licence you have the right of appeal to a magistrates court This link will take you to an external website... within 28 days. 

Other considerations

The following matters are not directly taken into account when considering applications, but you are strongly encouraged to ensure that you have taken account of these issues before applying for a licence (this list is not intended to be exhaustive or comprehensive):

Contact us

If you have an enquiry about a licence complete our online form or contact us (see contacts section of this page).

Last reviewed: 03 - 07 - 2017

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