Caravan/park home sites, camping sites and houseboats

Information for people who live in, or who are considering living in, a caravan, houseboat or on a camp site.

Privately owned caravan/mobile home/park home sites normally must have a licence from us. The licence issued will have conditions attached, which regulate a variety of aspects of the site. A copy of the licence must be displayed on the site. We can take action against a site owner for contraventions of the site licence conditions.

A pre-requisite of issuing a site licence is that the site has the necessary planning permission. Where the occupier of a caravan/mobile home/park home is not the land owner, he/she will have a separate agreement with the site/land owner. We do not have any remit with regard to disputes arising in respect of these agreements.

Caravan and camping site licenses are needed for the protection of public health and safety, to make sure that regulations are adhered to.

A caravan site includes anywhere a caravan (including mobile or 'park' home) is situated and occupied for human habitation, including touring sites and single sites.

There are two main types of caravan/mobile home sites:

  • holiday sites where individuals rent caravans for short periods or where touring caravans are allowed to park for short periods
  • permanent residential mobile home sites where residents either own the homes outright or rent them on a long-term basis from the site owner. They are the permanent and usually only home of the occupiers

Relevant legislation

Caravan Sites Act 1968

Mobile Homes Act 1983

Camping sites

Camping, like caravans, is similarly controlled, although under different legislation. Subject to certain exemptions, we have certain powers under to control camping activities. We can issue a licence to use land as a site for moveable dwellings (tents) and can attach conditions to the licence. Planning permission may also be required for the use of land as a camping site.

Relevant legislation

Section 269 Public Health Act 1936

The need for a licence arises only if the site is used for more than forty two consecutive days or for more than sixty days in any consecutive twelve months. However, it should be noted that the use of land as a camping site for more than twenty eight days in any calendar year will require planning permission. Conditions are attached to licences, appropriate to the site concerned, and normally relate to the layout of the site, safety provisions and welfare facilities for the occupants.

There are exceptions for organisations that hold camping exemption certificates. Boy Scout Association, Girl Guides Association and similar bodies have been granted exemption certificates.

Caravans, houseboats and temporary homes (tents)

Unlike dedicated sites, there are no government standards for caravans, houseboats or temporary homes such as tents, but neither does normal housing standards legislation apply. Where such accommodation is being used as a home, the council can investigate conditions to see if they are prejudicial to the health of the occupants.

Gypsies and Travellers

We have a Gypsy Liaison Service that deals with matters relating to Gypsies and Travellers. The Gypsy Liaison Service has the responsibility of managing and maintaining our Gypsy and Traveller sites. They liaise with members of Gypsy and Traveller communities and also outside agencies providing help and advice. They also have the responsibility for dealing with illegal encampments and stray horses. Contact us for further information.

Choosing a caravan to live in

It is strongly recommended that you consult a solicitor before entering into any agreement to buy a park home.

We can only provide general information about our licensed sites.

You are also advised to check the national park home residents associations.

Useful links

Contact us

For further information, please contact us:

Last updated: 07 June 2018 11:46:11