Caravan Sites

Caravan and camping site licence

Licence summary

For land to be used as a camping and caravan site, planning permission is needed, and the site must be licensed by us.   However, caravanning organisations can apply to the "Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs" (DEFRA) for "touring caravan exemption certificates" exempting them from the need to obtain planning permission and a site licence.  A certificate can be used by the organisation named on the certificate in any part of Great Britain. http://www.defra.gov.uk/

Holiday and static caravan sites have to be licensed, and we inspect them regularly.

The purpose of the Caravan Sites Act is to protect the health and safety of residents (both permanent and visitors) of caravan sites by requiring the sites to be licensed and to comply with basic standards.

A Caravan Site Licence is required if a caravan is stationed on land for the purpose of human habitation.  There are some exceptions:

  • 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.

If you are a caravan site occupier: you should have a licence already but you should check that your name, the site name and address is 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 to the Licensing Unit at the address below including the correct details.

If you have recently become a caravan site occupier: 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 a request for transfer and we will either endorse or re-issue it.

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 a permanent caravan site use you must have planning permission before a licence can be issued.

Government has issued revised Model Standards for residential caravan sites. The new Model Standards update those issued in 1989 and reflect changes in legal requirements, most notably in relation to fire safety. The Model Standards represent what is normally to be expected as a matter of good practice on caravan sites (except holiday sites), and can be read here.

For land to be used as a caravan site, planning permission is usually necessary and the site must be licensed by us.   However, caravanning organisations that meet certain requirements can apply to DEFRA for certificates exempting them from the need to obtain planning permission and a site licence.  These are known as "touring caravan exemption certificates".  These certificates are issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (defra), the Scottish Executive and the National Assembly for Wales (NAW).  A certificate can be used by the organisation named on the certificate in any part of Great Britain. http://www.defra.gov.uk/

Eligibility Criteria

The applicant must be entitled to use the land as a caravan site: a licence can only be issued if the site has the correct planning consent.  An established use certificate does not give entitlement to a licence.  The consent may limit use to particular types of caravans eg self-propelled caravans where there is difficulty over access.  In these cases the licence will contain the same restrictions.

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.

A written application form must be submitted, with a site plan at 1:500 scale showing the layout of roads, caravans and facilities.

Note: It is not possible to issue a Caravan Site Licence unless the appropriate planning permission is granted.

In the interest of the persons dwelling in the caravans, or of any other class of persons, or of the public at large, we may grant a licence subject to conditions covering any of the following:

  • restricting when caravans can be on the site for human habitation or restricting the number of caravans that can be on the site at any one time
  • controlling the types of caravans on the site
  • controlling the positioning of the caravans or regulating the use of other structures and vehicles including tents
  • to ensure steps are taken enhance the land, including planting/replanting bushes and trees
  • fire safety and fire fighting controls, and
  • to ensure that sanitary and other facilities, services and equipment are supplied and maintained.

Reasons for Conditions:

  • Numbers may be limited to have regard to planning or highway considerations to maintain amenity or privacy.
  • Seasonal use may be required as a planning condition to prevent residential use of sub-standard accommodation, or to preserve the quiet amenity of the area during closed periods.
  • Spacing of the caravans is predominantly for fire consideration, but privacy and noise nuisance are also factors.
  • Road surfaces are covered to prevent danger and dust nuisance.
  • The minimum distances from sanitary disposal points is to prevent nuisance and improve hygiene.
  • The site name must be displayed for easy identification by emergency services.
Will Tacit Consent Apply?

If the licence is not issued within two months, the site can operate without a licence until one is issued.  If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us. You can do this online here if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or phone us on 01527 881395 or email wrs.licensing@worcsregservices.gov.uk

Apply by post An application for a Caravan Site Licence must be in writing and must specify the land it relates to, it must also contain prescribed particulars and preferably be on the standard application form. This specifies the requirements of plans etc. If the licence is not issued within two months, the site can operate without a licence until one is issued.

Grant of a licence doesn't mean that we've given planning permission: consent under town and country planning law may still be required. Please contact our Planning Services on 01386 565565.

Failed Application Redress

You should speak to us if you have any issue with the process.

If a licence holder is refused an application to alter a condition they may appeal to the South Worcestershire Magistrates' court. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the written notification of the refusal and a notice of appeal must be served on the us.

Licence Holder Redress

You are advised to take up any issue with us, 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.

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Other Redress

Anyone suffering nuisance due to noise, smells or similar because of a commercial premises should contact the Environmental Protection team to see if we can help (email wrsenquiries@worcsregservices.gov.uk or phone on 01527 881395

Trade Associations

British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA)

 

British Resorts and Destinations Association

 

Caravan Industry Training (CITO)

 

Federation of Tour Operators (FTO)

 

Group Travel Organisers Association (GTOA)

 

Hotel Marketing Association

 

National Caravan Council (NCC)

EUGO

Further Information

All Licensing and Environmental Health Matters are now dealt with by Worcestershire Regulatory Services.

For direct public enquiries and referrals:

General Customer Enquiries

Telephone: 01905 822799

Email: wrsenquiries@worcsregservices.gov.uk

Fax: 01905-617132

Worcestershire Regulatory Services