If you allow your land to be used as a camping site by the public for more than 42 days consecutively - or 60 days in a year - you require a licence from the local authority. Conditions may be attached to a licence. There are exceptions for organisations that hold camping exemption certificates.
Caravan Site Licences
Caravan, Camping and Mobile Home Park sites are required to be licensed by the Council. There are three main site categories, which are;
holiday sites: and
tent and tourer sites
A site can range from a single caravan, tent or tourer on a small plot of land to large sites comprising of hundreds of units. The law requires that no occupier of land shall ''cause or permit'' any part of their land to be used as a caravan and/or camping site unless they hold a current licence in respect of the land. Section 1 (4) of the Act states a caravan site is "land on which a caravan is stationed for the purposes of human habitation and land which is used in conjunction with land on which a caravan is so stationed".
Camping Sites (tents only)
Under Section 269 of the Public Health Act 1936 a licence is required if a person allows any land occupied by them to be used for camping (tents only) purposes on more than forty two consecutive days or more than sixty days in any twelve consecutive months.
In the case of sites with mixed accommodation, including tents, sites are normally licensed as a single site, with tents deemed to be touring units for the purposes of the conditions.
Who needs a licence?
The law prohibits the use of land as a caravan site unless the occupier holds a site licence that has been issued by the local authority. This applies to permanent residential sites, holiday sites and touring caravan sites.
If you are a caravan site licensee you should have a licence already but you should check that your name, the site name and address is correct and up to date. You must also check that the licence corresponds with your planning permission. If not, you should send us the licence for re-issue including the correct details or complete an Application form for a site licence.
If you have recently become a caravan site owner licences are transferable to a new occupier but the law requires us to give consent for the transfer. You should send us the licence with an Application form to transfer a site licence and we will either endorse or re-issue the licence.
If you are a potential site owner you or your legal advisor should check that all the land used for siting caravans has planning permission and the details correspond with the site licence. If you wish to change the use of the land to a permanent caravan site you must have planning permission before a licence can be issued.
There are some exceptions. A caravan site licence is not required for:
A caravan sited with the curtilage of a dwelling and its use is incidental to the dwelling.
A single caravan used by a person for not more than two consecutive nights for a maximum of 28 days in any 12 months.
A maximum of three caravans on a site of not less than five acres for a maximum of 28 days in any 12 months.
Sites of up to five caravans certified by an exempt organisation and which are for members only.
Meetings organised by exempted organisations lasting not more than five days.
Sites occupied by the local authority. These are usually gypsy/traveller sites.
Sites for temporary and special purposes such as caravan rallies, agricultural and forestry workers, building and engineering sites and travelling showmen.
Sites operated and owned by a local council, county councils or regional councils.
Gypsy/traveller sites occupied by county or regional councils.
Sites occupied and supervised by exempted organisations such as the Caravan Club.
Planning legislation takes primacy over the legislation that governs caravan site licences. In other words, the licence may only be issued after the relevant planning permission has been obtained for the site. Therefore, it is recommended that before submitting an application that any potential applicant checks the planning permission permits the land to which it relates can be used as a caravan site. Without the correct planning permission being in place, a caravan site licence cannot be granted.
It is worth noting that as a caravan site licence can only be issued in accordance with planning permission, so if there are any relevant restrictions that form part of the permission then these will need to be mirrored on the site licence, if granted. For instance, if the planning permission only allows a site to be occupied between 1 March and 31 October, then the caravan site licence can not be granted beyond those months.
Mobile Homes Act 2013
The Mobile Homes Act 2013 is designed to give greater protection to occupiers of residential mobile (park) homes. The licensing provisions in the Act are aimed at raising standards in the industry and delivering a more professional service to home owners. Measures also provide for more effective enforcement action by local authorities where site operators do not comply with their licence obligations. These provisions came into effect on the 1 April 2014 and provide a power for local authorities to charge the site owner a fee for applying for a site licence. It also provides new powers with the introduction of 'compliance notices' to deal with breaches of site licence conditions. For more information, visit the Leaseholder Advisory Service.
Fees for 'Relevant Protected Sites'
The Mobile Homes Act 2013, now allows for Local Authorities to charge fees for their licensing functions in respect of those residential sites that qualify as Relevant Protected Sites. To qualify as a 'Relevant Protected Site' the site must have planning permission or a site licence or both that permit the site to be used for residential use all year round. If the site benefits from a permission that allows a mixture of holiday and residential use then the site will still qualify as a 'Relevant Protected Site', unless the residential units on a mixed site are solely occupied by the owner and/or person(s) employed by the occupier but who do not occupy the caravan under an agreement to which the Mobile Homes Act 1983 applies.
If you are unsure as to whether the residential site qualifies, then please contact the Licensing Team. It is worth emphasising that these fees DO NOT apply to sites that are used exclusively for holidaying, where the Caravan Site Licence expressly states this.
The Mobile Homes (Site Rules) (England) Regulations 2014
These Regulations prescribe the procedure for the making, variation and deletion of site rules on residential mobile parks (relevant protected sites) Site Licence holders must follow a set procedure for changes to be made to ''site rules'' for a permanent residential home. Site rules that have been deposited with the local authority can be downloaded below. There may be a fee for the deposit of site rules with the authority.
Mobile Home Site Register
Under the Mobile Homes (Site Rules) (England) Regulations 2014, the Local Authority is required to keep an up to date register of park rules in respect of 'Relevant Protected Sites' and publish the up to date register online. Those licensed sites that have lodged their site rules with Erewash Borough Council are listed below.
|Name of site||Address of site||Licence issued|
|Ford Farm Mobile Home Park||Ford Lane, Little Eaton, Derbyshire DE21 5DA|
|Mayfield Mobile Home Park||Off Draycott Road, Breaston, Derbyshire DE72 3DA|
Applying for a licence
Applications for site licences should be made to the local authority in whose area the land is situated. Under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 a local authority is prohibited from granting a site licence to any person, organisation or company who has previously held a site licence which has been revoked in the past three years.
To apply for a caravan site licence in Erewash Borough, applicants must complete and submit an application form. The form is available by either calling the licensing office or by downloading the Application form for a site licence.
The applicant will need to include details of the following in their application:
the type of caravan site for which the licence is required – permanent, residential, seasonal or touring
the maximum number of caravans that are proposed to be stationed on site at any one time for the purpose of human habitation
a layout plan of the site, to a scale of not less than 1/500, showing the boundaries of the site, the positions of caravan standings, and, where appropriate, the positions of roads and footpaths, toilet blocks, stores and other buildings, food and surface water drainage, water supply, recreation spaces, fire points and parking spaces
details of the arrangements for refuse disposal and for sewage and waste water disposal.
Where the applicant already has planning permission, the local authority must issue the licence within two months of the application being submitted. If planning permission is not obtained until later, the licence must be issued within six weeks of the permission being obtained. In each case the period may be extended by written agreement between the applicant and the local authority.
To discuss your application, or if you require further details, please contact the licensing office on 01159 072244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Transferring the site licence
If the site is to be sold or transferred to another person or named body, the licence holder should complete the transfer of licence application form and send it to the council, together with the current site licence. These forms are available by calling the licensing office or by downloading the Application form to transfer a site licence.
On receipt of a complete application, a new licence will be prepared together with the current licence conditions and will be forwarded to the new licence holder. A site inspection may also take place at this time.
Amending an existing site licence
There is no legal mechanism under the MHA 2013 for a site licence holder to amend a site licence. Therefore if you do wish to change any aspect of an existing site licence a new application will be required.
Change of address
If you are the licence holder for a holiday caravan and change your permanent place of residence, then please notify this authority as soon as possible. Failure to provide us with this information may result in you missing out on important communications in respect of legislative changes and safety matters.
Site Licence Conditions
A local authority can impose licence conditions in the interest of the safety and comfort of persons dwelling in the caravans, or in the surrounding area. Failure to comply with a site condition is a criminal offence. Site licences are therefore issued with conditions attached. These are largely taken from the Government's Model Standards for Caravan Sites in England which include:
- The type of caravan, e.g. residential, static holiday or touring.
- The permitted density (the number per acre/hectare) and the spacing between caravans.
- Water supply and drainage; lavatory and washing facilities.
- Fire precautions and electrical installations.
The Council can now serve compliance notices (subject to appeal) on site owners where site licence conditions are breached, and these notices will set out what the site owner needs to do to correct the breaches, and the timescales involved. A fee may be charged for the notice and failure to comply with the notice would be a criminal offence. Local authorities also have the power to carry out works in default.
Appeal against conditions
The act allows a right of appeal against conditions attached to a site licence. An appeal must be made to the Magistrates' Court within 28 days of the licence being issued.
Alteration of conditions
The local authority may, at any time, alter such conditions by varying or cancelling them, by adding new conditions, or by a combination of these methods. Before doing so, the authority is obliged to afford to the licence holder an opportunity to make representations. No alteration becomes effective unless and until written notification has been received by the licence holder.
Offences and penalties
It an offence for a site licence holder to fail to comply with any conditions attached to the licence. If the local authority is satisfied that a breach of a condition under a site licence has occurred, in the first instance it can instigate proceedings in the Magistrates' Court. If, after having been convicted of breaching site licence condition(s) on three or more occasions, a site licence holder continues to break conditions of the licence, the local authority may, instead of instigating further proceedings, apply to the Magistrates' Court to have their licence revoked. Where revocation is ordered, another licence may not be issued in respect of land to the same holder for at least three years.
Power of entry
Authorised officers of the authority have the right to enter, at all reasonable hours, (after having given 24 hours notice) land which is used as a caravan site or in respect of an application for a site licence that has been made.
The applicant must be entitled to use the land as a caravan site. Licences will not be issued to applicants who have had a site licence revoked within three years of the current application.
Application Evaluation Process
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 and any other information required by the local authority.
Will Tacit Consent Apply?
Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period. If you have not heard from us by the end of the target period please contact us.
You are advised to take up any issue with the local authority first. If a licence holder wishes to appeal against a condition attached to a licence they may appeal to the local Magistrates' Court. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the licence being issued. The local district council may alter conditions at any time but must give licence holders the opportunity to make representations about the proposed changes. If a licence holder disagrees with the alterations they may appeal to the local Magistrates' court . The appeal must be made within 28 days of the written notification of the alteration and a notice of appeal must be served on the local district council.