Camping & caravan site licences

Introduction

Caravan, Camping and Mobile Home sites are required to be licensed. There are three main categories, which are;

  • residential sites;
  • 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 100's of units.

The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960  ("the Act") requires that (subject to certain exemptions) 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 site licence ("the 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".

Section 29 (1) of the Act defines caravan as "any structure designed or adapted for human habitation which is capable of being moved from one place to another (whether by being towed, or by being transported on a motor vehicle or trailer) and any motor vehicle so designed or adapted".

Caravan site licence applications

Before applying, it is strongly recommended that you refer to the model standards that form the basis of conditions attached to a Caravan Site Licence (The 'licence').

Under the Caravan Sites and Control Of Development Act 1960 (The 'act'), 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from granting a site licence to any person, organisation or company who has previously held a site licence, which has been revoked in the past three years.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 licence, applicants must provide 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; and,
  • details of the arrangements for refuse disposal and for sewage and wastewater disposal

To assist applicants, an application form has been devised to obtain the information outlined above. Please note that the application will need to be made in the name of the individual, organisation or company that occupies the land. This is usually the freeholder.

Please read the following information before completing the form.

Planning permission - 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.

Evidence of land occupancy - Evidence of who owns the land must be provided with the application in the form of the 'Register of Title' and the 'Title Plan', which can both be obtained from the Land Registry for £3 each.

Application process - Where the applicant already possesses the correct planning permission upon application for a licence, then the local authority must issue the licence within two months of the application submission date. If planning permission is not in place, then the licence cannot be issued until such time as the correct planning permission has been obtained. Under these circumstances the local authority has six weeks from the date of the planning permission being granted to issue the licence. In each case the period may be extended by written agreement between the applicant and the local authority.

The local authority can determine what conditions ought to be attached to the site licence.

Generally, there is no expiry date for a site licence. However, if the relevant planning permission is for a limited period, the site licence must expire at the same time as the planning permission.

There is no fee payable for submitting a caravan site licence application in respect of a holiday site.  Further details regarding fees associated with residential sites can be found at Fees for 'Relevant Protected Sites'.

Transfer of the site licence

If you have purchased a site then the site licence will need to be transferred. If this is the case then please read the enquiry letter and then complete the application form.

If the site is a large site or a residential site then additional information may need to be sort by the Council and an additional form may need to be completed.  A member of the licensing team will contact you on receipt of the initial transfer form if this is the case.

Change of permanent address - Holiday Site Licence Holders

If you are the licence holder for a holiday caravan and change your permanent place of residence, then please notify the Licensing Tema via email.  The email address can be found at the bottom of this web page.  Please include you name, contact number, email address, address of the site you hold the licence(s) for and the address of your new permanent place of residence.

Failure to provide us with this information may result in you missing out on important communications in respect of legislative changes and safety matters.

Conditions and model standards for camping and caravan sites

Section 5 (1) of the act lays down the general power to attach conditions. In addition to the general power, the act lays down certain specific conditions that may be imposed. These are for:

  • restricting the occasions on which caravans are to be stationed, or the total number of caravans to be stationed at any time;
  • controlling the types of caravans on site;
  • regulating the positions in which caravans are to be stationed, and for regulating or prohibiting the placing of structures, vehicles and tents on the land;
  • ensuring that amenities are preserved, including the planting and replanting with trees and bushes;
  • securing that proper measures are taken for the prevention and detection of fire, and that adequate means of fire fighting are provided and maintained; and,
  • securing and maintaining adequate sanitary and other facilities, services and equipment

Section 5 (6) of the act permits central government to specify model standards, which the local authority is directed to have regard to when deciding what (if any) conditions to attach to the site licence. The types of standard conditions include those for:

  • Holiday Caravan Sites - single unit site;
  • Holiday Caravan Sites - multiple unit site;
  • Permanent Residential Mobile Home Sites - single unit site;
  • Permanent Residential Mobile Home Sites - multiple unit site; and
  • Tent and Touring Caravan Site.

If a licence is granted in relation to a brand new residential site then the conditions attached to the licence will be based upon the 2008 model standards set by central government.

Offences and penalties - Section 9 (1) of the act makes 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.

Exemptions from having to obtain a camping or caravan site licence

Under Section 269 of the Public Health Act 1936 a licence is not required if a person allows any land occupied by them to be used for camping (tents only) purposes on no more than 42 consecutive days or no more than 60 days in any 12 consecutive months. 

The First Schedule of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 lists the cases under which a caravan site licence is not required.

As a brief summary, no licence is required if caravans are being used in connection with the owner's dwelling, for building or agricultural purposes, for stationing of a caravan for not more than two nights (as long as caravans had not been present for more than 28 days during the previous year), or for stationing up to three caravans on a plot of five acres or more. Travelling showman and sites owned by the local authority also do not require a licence. In addition, certain organisations, such as the Caravan Club or the Camping and Caravanning Club, benefit from exemptions from the site licensing requirements. For example, the two clubs can permit 'certified locations' (CLs) and 'certificated sites' (CSs), which operate without a site licence but subject to a club-members-only policy.

Public register of licences for camping and caravan sites

Under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, this authority is required to keep a register of site licences issued in respect of land situated in the Chichester District, and the register shall be open for inspection by the public at all reasonable times. The details that are required to be entered into the register are as follows:

  • The land to which the site licence relates
  • The holder of the licence
  • The date of grant

We have placed the register on the website and this is updated at the beginning of each year. The register also contains additional information, which includes the following:

  • Type of licence granted
  • Maximum number of caravans or pitches permitted
  • Period of occupancy

The sites are listed in numerical order within the parish they are located. If you would like to see an up to date copy of the register, then please contact us to arrange a convenient time for it to be viewed.

Mobile Homes Act 2013 change in legislation - 'Relevant Protected Sites'

The Mobile Homes Act (The 'act') received Royal Assent on the 26th March 2013. Part of the act came into force on the 26 May 2013 and provided a clearer legal framework in respect of governing the relationship between landlord's and tenant's of residential mobile homes. The act also contains provisions that will effect the licensing regime for residential mobile homes in terms of it's administration and enforcement. Some of the key changes are as follows:

  • The majority of residential sites will fall under the definition of a 'Relevant Protected Site' and will be referred to as such;
  • Clearer parameters for determining applications;
  • Ability for licence holders to apply to alter conditions;
  • The Residential Property Tribunal to be responsible for determining appeals rather than the Magistrates' Court, in certain situations;
  • Requirement for the manager of the site to be a 'fit and proper' person and a register of managers to be maintained by the local authorities;
  • Provide local authorities with additional powers to secure compliance with the site licence; and,
  • Enable local authorities to charge fees to cover the administration of applications and also levy annual fees under certain circumstances.

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.

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'.  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.

Before a Local Authority can charge a fee, it must prepare and publish a fees policy. Chichester District Council's Fees Policy was approved by the Licensing (General Purposes) Committee on the 22nd October 2014 and will take effect from the 30th November 2014

A summary of the fees are provided in the table below.

 

summary of fees for relevant protected sites

Charge type

Band A

(2 - 5 units)

Band B

(6 - 24 units)

Band C

(25 - 99 units)

Band D

(100+ units)

Band E (Single unit sites and family sites)

New application for site licence

£218£296£343£406£100

Transfer of site licence

£77£77£77£77£25
Amendment of site licence£125£125£125£125£75
Annual fee£147£175£220£272Exempt
Depositing of park rules with Chichester District Council£75£75£75£75N/A

Any existing 'Relevant Protected Sites', which is liable for an annual fee, this will be due on the 31st January 2015.  A reminder letter will be sent prior to this date.  The Local Authority will contact you in the Spring of 2015 to arrange a site visit for the Summer of 2015.  If you are exempt from paying an annual fee then a site visit will not be undertaken.

The MHA 2013 Act allows the site owner to pass on some of the fees to residents through the pitch fee but only under certain circumstances.

  1. The site owner cannot pass on fees charged by the local authority for the issue or transfer of a site licence or the alteration of conditions on a site licence.
  2. The fee for administration and monitoring of site licences is levied as an annual fee and is the only fee that the site owner can pass on to residents. However the site owner can only pass on the annual fee in the first year after the legislation comes into force, which means the fee can only be passed on if it forms part of a pitch fee review prior to the 31 March 2015.  In addition, the site owner cannot pass the annual fee on to residents if the pitch fee review occurred prior to the 30th November 2014.  In other words, the annual fee can only be passed onto residents as part of a pitch fee review that takes place between the 30 November 2014 and the 31 March 2015.

Park Rules for 'Relevant Protected Sites'

Section 9 of the Mobile Homes Act 2013 has made amendments to the Mobile Homes Act 1983, requiring 'Relevant Protected Sites' with site rules to consult with residents and then deposit them with the relevant Local Authority. The purpose of this is to ensure the good management of residential sites for the benefit of residents and visitors and maintain community cohesion, as well as, prevent site owners from imposing rules that provide the site owner with an unfair advantage or economic benefit.  Once these rules have been deposited they will form part of the express terms of the pitch agreement and, therefore, bind both the occupant and the site owner.

The Mobile Homes (Site Rules) (England) Regulations 2014 came into force on the 4 February 2014 and outlines the process for site owners to follow when consulting on and depositing site rules, as well as, specifying a list of rules that are prohibited. This includes banning rules which prevent the resident from making improvements to the unit or pitch; requiring visitors to report to the park office or only allowing visitors to stay when the resident is present, or restricting the resident to purchasing goods or services from the site owner.

The process specified in the Regulations requires site owners to consult occupiers and any residents' associations by sending them a proposal notice which includes details of the proposals and the reasons for making them. Occupiers and residents' associations must be given at least 28 days to respond to the consultation. Following expiry of the consultation period the park owner has 21 days to decide which proposals to implement, taking into account any representations made, and to notify the occupiers and residents' association of their decision. The occupiers or residents' association have 21 days to appeal the site owner's decision to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), if they consider that it is unreasonable or the correct procedure has not been followed.

A number of forms have been devised and can be accessed via our website below to assist site owners and residents with complying with this process. A fee is payable on deposit of site rules.

Under the Regulations site owners have a year from the date the Regulations came into force to consult on their site rules and deposit them with the Local Authority.  Therefore, if site rules are not deposited on or before the 3 February 2015, then the current site rules will cease to have any effect.  It is worth noting that even if you wish to retain your existing site rules without change, the site rules will still need to be consulted on and lodged with Chichester District Council.

Register of Park Rules

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 sites that have lodged their Park Rules with Chichester District Council are listed below.

Morcumbs Caravan Park, Penny Lane, Southbourne, Emsworth, Hampshire, PO10 8HF.  Licence Holder - R S Hill & Sons Ltd, Case Ref No - 15/00131/RPSDR

1-12 & 14-20 Silverlakes, Drayton Lane, Oving, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 2RN.  Licence Holder - Sussex Mobile Homes Ltd, Case Ref No - 15/00132/RPSDR

13 Silverlakes, Drayton Lane, Oving, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 2RN.  Licence Holder - Silver Lakes Mobile Homes Ltd, Case Ref No - 15/00133/RPSDR

21 Silverlakes, Drayton Lane, Oving, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 2RN.  Licence Holder - West Sussex Mobile Homes Ltd, Case Ref No - 15/00134/RPSDR

If you wish to view a particular set of Park Rules then you can input the case reference number into our Public Access system. Please ensure that you have selected to search for 'licences' rather than 'applications' before inputting the case reference number.  This will then allow you to view the case and all documents related to it, including a copy of the Park Rules.

Please note that the site owner may set site rules on residential caravan sites. The council does not enforce these rules, although some rules may be a duplicate of the site licence conditions. The site rules are part of the contract between the home owner and site owner, and supplement the Mobile Homes Act Agreement.

The council is required to keep and publish a register of site rules. We will update this page when we are notified by site owners that rules are in force. The rules have been written by the site owners, and not Chichester District Council.