Caravan site licence

On 1 April the single new council for North Yorkshire launched replacing Scarborough Borough Council and other local authorites in North Yorkshire.

To find your Councillor or to view minutes, meetings and agendas please visit the North Yorkshire Council website.

The Caravan and Control of Development Act 1960 prohibits the use of land as a caravan site unless the occupier holds a site licence issued by the local authority. 


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.
However, it does not include sites where caravans are kept for storage only (driveways, retailers, storage parks) or where a caravan is used as additional accommodation for an existing dwelling.
Before a licence can be granted, a caravan site must first be granted Planning Consent.  Once a Planning Consent has been granted, a Caravan Site Licence must be applied for and will be issued.
The primary purposes of a Caravan Site Licence is to ensure that the risk of spread of fire is minimised, that there is appropriate access to the site for emergency services and that the facilities provided are appropriate to the nature and size of the site.
To ensure that this is done the licence is issued subject to the conditions based on the adopted model standards for caravan sites and a copy of the licence is displayed on site.  The Council will carry out site inspections to ensure that the conditions are being complied with.  The inspections will take two forms: Scheduled inspections to identify provision of facilities and unannounced inspections to ensure conditions are not breached during busy periods.
Requests for extensions to seasons or number of caravans must be addressed through the relevant planning authority, they cannot be addressed through the licensing process.

Tent site licence

Section 269 Public Health Act 1936 gives the local authority powers to control the use of movable dwellings and to licence the use of land as a site for such as a dwelling.
If the land is to be used for more than 28 days in total in any calendar year, planning permission must be obtained.
A site which is used for more than 42 days consecutively or 60 days in total in any consecutive 12 months, must have a site licence for the area concerned.
The local authority may also decide to licence tented areas on existing sites which operate within the 28 day planning allowance period.
Sites with planning permission for mixed accommodation provisions, including tents, will be licensed as a single site under the Caravan and Control of Development Act 1960.  In this case, in reference to the required standards, tents will be treated as touring units.  However, if an area of a site is used for the siting of tents but does not have the relevant planning consent it will be licensed separately under Section 269 Public Health Act 1936.
A local authority may grant or refuse a licence allowing use of a site.  If you are granted a licence the local authority may also attach conditions to ensure safety and a basic level of amenities.


Why do I need a licence?

It is against the law to operate a caravan site unless the occupier holds a site licence issued by the local authority, unless exemptions apply.

Why do you licence caravan sites?

For the protection of public health and to ensure that health and safety requirements are met; for example ensuring that fire precautions are adequate and that any shared facilities are sufficient and accessible.

Do I need any other permissions?

Yes.  You will probably require planning permission and a Licence cannot be issued until such permission is obtained.

Are there any exemptions against the requirements to hold a caravan site licence?

  • Use within the curtilage of a dwelling as an extension of the accommodation
  • Use by a person travelling with a caravan for one or two nights
  • Uses of holdings of five acres or more in certain circumstances
  • Sites occupied and supervised by exempted organisations
  • Sites approved by exempted organisations
  • Meetings organised by exempted organisations
  • Agricultural and forestry workers
  • Building and engineering sites
  • Travelling showmen

Do I need to licence my tent site / tented area of site?

A licence must be obtained for a camping site which is used for more than 42 days consecutively or 60 days in total in any consecutive 12 months.
The local authority may also decide to licence tented sites /  areas that operate for a lesser period of time, such as those who take advantage of the 28 day planning allowance.
A licence is not required if you have a licence exemption certificate.

How do I apply for a licence?

Please either download the attached application form(s) or contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 01723 232530.

Are conditions imposed on caravan and mixed sites?

Yes.  Conditions relating to density, sanitary provisions and, if necessary, such things as caravan spacing, roadways etc can be imposed.

Are conditions imposed on tent only sites?

The local authority may impose conditions on tent sites, these conditions will be individual to each site.

How long do I have to adhere to the conditions?

During the application process, an officer will contact you to discuss a timescale, and any other issues of concern.

How long does the licence last?

The licence will expire when the planning permission expires.

How much will the licence cost?

There is no cost involved.

What type of licence do we need?

Sites which require a caravan site licence:
  • Exclusively statics
  • Mixed statics and tourers
  • Exclusively tourers
  • Mixed statics, tourers and tents
  • Mixed tourers and tents
Sites which require a tent site licence:
Tent sites only, also areas of existing caravan sites which use an area for tents but do not hold planning permission may be subject to a licence.


PDF icon Caravan-Site-Application-Form.pdf1.68 MB