Caravan Sites and Licensing

The majority of camping and caravan sites require a licence to be issued by Blaby District Council. This includes the following types of sites:

  • Mobile home parks / static caravans / touring caravan sites used for permanent occupation, including those used exclusively by Gypsies and Travellers.
  • Holiday sites
  • Mixed holiday / residential sites
  • Camping sites

A single mobile home or caravan on land can be a caravan site even if it is lived in by the owner of the land. This means that family owned and occupied sites, not run for commercial gain still require a licence.

There are some exemptions to the licensing requirements which are detailed in the list below. Full details on the different types of caravan sites can be found in the document which defines the different types of sites.

Sites Exempt from Licensing
  • A caravan sited within 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 five caravans certified by an exempt organisation and which are for members only.
  • Sites occupied by the local authority.
  • Sites for temporary and special purposes such as caravan rallies, agricultural and forestry workers, building and engineering sites and travelling salesmen.
Legislation

The main pieces of legislation that regulate caravan sites are:

Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960

  • This contains the requirement for occupiers (this usually means the freehold owner) of caravan sites to hold a caravan site licence.
  • It is a criminal offence to operate a caravan site without holding a site licence and anyone convicted of this offence can face an unlimited fine.
  • It allows local authorities to place conditions on the site licence to control matters such as the separation of homes (and other structures) for fire safety; to ensure that the electricity, water, gas and oil supplies are adequate and safe; to ensure that the site is maintained to a reasonable and safe standard.
  • Where site owners are in breach of their licence conditions local authorities can serve compliance notices on them requiring that works are undertaken to remedy the breach. Failure to comply with a compliance notice is a criminal offence and anyone convicted of this offence can face an unlimited fine.
  • In some cases the Council can decide to undertake works themselves but this would normally be in exceptional circumstances such as an emergency.

Mobile Homes Act 2013

This made some changes to the way that Councils can regulate licences. It also made changes to the relationship between the owners and residents of caravan sites. Further information on the rights of residents is found in the section on buying, selling or renting a caravan below.

Information for Buying, Selling or Renting a Mobile Home/Caravan

If you are considering purchasing or renting a mobile home / static caravan for permanent occupation that you are strongly advised to check the following matters:

Planning Permission

  • Does the site have the required planning permission to be a caravan site?
  • Are there any restrictions on whom can live on the site (i.e. is it only allowed for people who meet the Planning definition of Gypsies and Travellers?
  • Are there any restrictions on the amount of time the site can be occupied? (i.e. is it allowed to be occupied for all or only part of the year?)

Site Licence

  • Does the current owner of the site hold a site licence? – this can be checked with Blaby District Council.
  • What conditions have been applied to the licence and will this affect you (e.g. some licences prohibit the storage of touring caravans on the site?)
  • Are there any issues with the site licence that may affect your occupation? – this can be checked with Blaby District Council.

Site Rules

Does the site have any site rules that you must comply with? All sites that have site rules will be published on this web page.

Conveyancing

If you are looking to purchase a mobile home, especially if it is as your permanent home, you are strongly advised to have conveyancing undertaken by a solicitor / legal adviser who has knowledge of this field. The solicitor / legal adviser should be able to make checks on planning and licensing for the site and if there are subsequent problems that they should have informed you about you can seek redress from them.

This advice applies whether you are looking to purchase the home direct from the site owner or from an existing mobile home owner.

Selling a Home

There are rules on the selling of a mobile home including how much commission the site owner can charge the resident on the sale of a property.

Useful Websites and Advice Documents

Further details on buying or selling a mobile home can be obtained from the external links section at the bottom of this page.

Planning Permission

All caravan sites must have planning permission allowing the land to be used as a caravan site. The permission will detail the type of site and place conditions on it which can include:

  • Whether the site is for permanent, seasonal or holiday occupation.
  • The number and type of caravans / mobile homes that can be stationed on the land.
  • Whether there are any restrictions on whom can live there – e.g. is it a site that is only designated for use by Gypsies and Travellers and what is meant by that definition?

A caravan site licence cannot be granted if the site does not have the required planning permission. In addition, the site licence is governed by the planning permission so if there are any restrictions on the planning permission (e.g. times of year or it is a temporary permission only), the site licence will mirror those conditions.

Application Process

To apply for a caravan site licence you must use the forms below. There are different forms for holiday sites and residential sites.

A fee is payable in respect of ‘relevant protected sites’ which are most sites that are not holiday sites. For a full definition on what is a ‘relevant protected site’ please read the “Definition of Caravan Sites” document.

Blaby District Council aims to process the application within two months of receiving a completed application. In some circumstances the deadline may be extended if both the Council and the applicant are in agreement for this to happen.

An application will only be determined as “completed” if all relevant sections are filled in, the fee (if applicable) is paid and all supported documents are provided. Failure to provide the information required may lead to the application being delayed or refused.

Blaby District Council will only issue a licence for a “relevant protected site” if it is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so. In the event that an application is refused there is a right of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Division).

Fit and Proper person test

The Mobile Homes Act 2013 put in place provision for further Regulations to be made requiring site licence holders and/or managers of caravan sites to be a fit and proper person. No such Regulations have been made yet (correct as of August 2019) although the Government are currently consulting on the introduction of such a requirement.

Licence Conditions

The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 has given Councils the power to attach conditions to licences. These conditions can do the following functions:

  • 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 and supplies are adequate and maintained, including water, electrical, gas and oil installations;
  • Ensuring correct separation between caravans / mobile homes and other structures to minimise the risk of fire spreading;
  • Securing and maintaining adequate sanitary and other facilities, services and equipment.

The Government have specified model standards which the local authority is directed to have regard to when deciding what (if any) conditions to attach to the site licence.

All new residential sites (with the exception of those with a planning condition restricting occupation to Gypsies and Travellers only) will have conditions based on the Model Standards 2008 for Caravan Sites in England.

The likely conditions that would be attached to a residential site licence can be found in the Site licence conditions for residential sites document.

The likely conditions that would be attached to a holiday site licence can be found in the Site licence conditions for holiday sites document.

Important Note

It is possible that conditions may be altered, omitted, or additional conditions added depending on the individual circumstances of the site.

Fee and Inspection Policy

Blaby District Council approved a Mobile Homes Fees and Inspection policy in 2019. The policy states the fees that are applicable for the various licensing functions including:

  • Licence applications and transfers
  • Variation of licences and conditions
  • Annual fees
  • Depositing site rules

The fees are based on the Government guidance on setting fees and are intended to be revenue neutral.

A summary of the fees are in the tables below.

New / transfer / amendment of licence application fees

Fee type Band 1 (0-10 caravans/homes) Band 2 (11-40 caravans/homes) Band 3 (41+ caravans/homes)
New licence application fee 455 480 500
Transfer of licence fee 190 190 190
Amendment of licence fee (no inspection) 275 275 275
Amendment of licence fee (with inspection) 315 335 360

 

Annual licensing fees

Fee type Band 1 (0-10 caravans/homes) Band 2 (11-40 caravans/homes) Band 3 (41+ caravans/homes)
Annual Licensing Fee 175 220 265

The annual fee is charged at periodic intervals of either 12 months, 18 months, 2 years or 3 years depending on the risk rating (A to D) given to the site following inspection. Site inspections are carried out at the same periodic intervals depending on the risk rating. The purpose of this is that the lower risk and more compliant sites require less frequent inspections and therefore cost less to regulate.

Risk Category Period Covered by Annual Fee
A 12 months
B 18 months
C 2 years
D 3 years

There are exemptions to annual fees and inspections for the following types of sites:

  • Sites with three or fewer pitches
  • Sites for the sole use of the owner and their families (does not include sites that are run for financial gain)

Although the above categories of sites are exempt from annual inspections, Blaby District Council have the authority to conduct inspections of these sites if it is deemed appropriate e.g. if there are concerns that licence condition may be being breached.

Depositing site rules is a standard fee of £140 irrespective of the size of the site or risk rating.

Site Rules

Site operators of “relevant protected sites” are allowed to set site rules but only if they follow the correct procedures which includes consultation with the residents and depositing the rules with Blaby District Council. Once rules have been properly deposited they will form part of the express terms of the pitch agreement and therefore bind both the residents and the site owner.

The Regulations require site operators to send all residents and any residents’ associations a proposal notice detailing the proposed rules and the reasons for making them. The recipients of the notice must be given at least 28 days to respond and at the end of the consultation period the site operator has 21 days to decide whether to amend any of the proposals.

Once the owner has notified the residents and any residents’ associations of their decision, the residents and residents’ associations have 21 days to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Division) if they object to any of the rules or believe that the correct process was not followed.

All site rules must be lodged with Blaby District Council for which a fee of £140 is applicable (see section on fees) and the Council will publish them. The Council must publish the site rules as they are presented even if some of the rules are deemed to be unfair or are classed as “banned rules” (see below). Blaby District Council have no liability in respect of any of the site rules published on their website.

Banned Rules

The Regulations state that some rules are banned as they are unfair to residents. These include matters such as:

  • Preventing the residents 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
  • Restricting the resident to purchasing goods or services from the site owner e.g. gas cylinders

It is the responsibility of the residents and residents’ associations to object to any rules they believe are unfair or constitute “banned rules” during the consultation process or on appeal to the First Tier Tribunal. If site rules are published that contain “banned rules”, then those “banned rules” shall not be able to be enforced by the site operator.

Blaby District Council have no legal authority to enforce site rules, although  where those site rules mirror existing site licence conditions the Council can take action under licensing powers.

Register of Site Rules

An up to date register of those sites who have lodged their Site Rules with Blaby District Council is below.

There are currently no sites who have lodged site rules with Blaby District Council.

 

The following forms can be used by site operators to submit site rules.

 

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Last updated 2 September 2019
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