Caravan sites need planning permission and a licence. There are some exceptions, listed below.
A caravan site licence is written permission from us to set up caravans on any land. You will not get a licence until you have planning permission.
When you need a licence
Permanent holiday caravan sites with caravans for let to holidaymakers must have planning permission before they will be issued with a licence.
Touring caravan sites must have a licence if they are in use for more than 42 consecutive days, or for more than 60 days in any 12 consecutive months. Planning permission is needed for any site occupied by caravans for more than 28 days each year.
Tented sites must have a licence if they are in use for more than 42 consecutive days or for more than 60 days in any 12 consecutive months. Planning permission is needed for any site where there is tented camping for more than 28 days each year.
The government's Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) lists social clubs that can camp on land without a site licence or planning permission. Go to GOV.UK: exemption to camp without a licence. Exemption certificates are valid for 5 years.
You don't need a licence if:
- the caravan is in the grounds of a home and is used as part of the home
- a single caravan is sited for no more than 2 consecutive nights for a maximum of 28 days in any 12-month period
- there are up to 3 caravans on a site of not less than 5 acres for a total of 28 days in any 12-month period
- the site is occupied by exempted organisations such as the Caravan Club
- the site has up to 5 caravans, is certified by an exempted organisation and is for members only
- the site is occupied by the council – usually gypsy and traveller sites
- the site is for temporary and special purposes such as caravan rallies, agricultural and forestry workers, builders
- the site is for tents only and used for a maximum of 28 days in any 12-month period
Getting a licence
Contact the private housing service who will make a site visit and send the necessary forms. Your application form will need to be attached to a site plan showing the layout of roads, caravans and facilities.
There is no time limit to the licence. It runs out when the planning permission runs out.