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.

Caravan/mobile home/park home sites

There are two main types of caravan/mobile home/park 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

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. This will include most privately owned caravan/mobile home/park home sites. The licence issued will have conditions attached, which regulate a variety of aspects of the site and 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 site is not the land owner, they should have a separate agreement with the site/land owner to allow them to occupy it. We do not have any remit with regard to disputes arising in respect of these agreements.

There is also a requirement for the manager of a relevant protected site to be Fit & Proper Person. For further details on licensing and site registration, please visit our webpage Caravan Site Registration.

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. 

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.

Gypsies and Travellers

St Leger Homes has a responsibility for managing and maintaining the authorities Gypsy and Traveller sites, they liaise with members of the Gypsy and Traveller communities and also outside agencies providing help and advice. Further information is available on the webpage Gypsy and Traveller sites.

We also have the responsibility for dealing with illegal encampments and stray horses

Caravans, houseboats and temporary homes (tents) conditions. 

Unlike dwellings, there are no government standards for caravans, houseboats or temporary homes such as tents, and the use of the Housing Health & Safety Rating System to assess housing standards does not apply. Where such accommodation is being rented as a home, the council can investigate conditions to see if they are prejudicial to the health of the occupants. If you are concerned about the condition of your home, please contact the Housing Enforcement Team via our General enquiry form.

Choosing a park home 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. Please check our public register of licenses to ensure the site you re looking at is fully licensed. 

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

Useful links

Contact us

For further information, please contact us via email at:

Last updated: 09 May 2024 10:01:59

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