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Caravan and Camping sites

The Environmental Protection Team is responsible for licensing and inspecting caravan and camping (tent) sites throughout the Torridge area. In addition to Council licensed sites, there are some types of site that operate under approvals from organisations such as The Caravan Club

Caravan Site Licensing

The Caravan Sites 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.

There are a number of exemptions to this licensing requirement, such as:

  • Incidental use within the boundary of a dwelling house
  • Sites approved by certain exempted organisations for up to 5 caravans
  • Sites for temporary and special purposes such as caravan rallies, agricultural and forestry workers, building and engineering sites and travelling salesmen
  • Sites occupied by the local authority
  • Caravan' refers to all mobile homes including holiday caravans, residential caravans, touring caravans and camper vans

How do I apply for a caravan site licence?

Before you apply for a licence, you should check that you have the necessary planning permission.  A licence cannot be issued until the corresponding planning permission is in place.  Planning Support can be contacted at planning.support@torridge.gov.uk

Once planning permission has been obtained, the land occupier must apply in writing for a site licence.  Please use either our downloadable and printable licence application form or our Online Form where you will also be able to pay any associated fees to apply for a licence

pdf icon Application for a caravan/tent site licence [179kb]

onlineforms icon Online Site Licence Application Form 2017 [52kb]

onlineforms icon Online Site Licence Transfer Application Form [38kb]

On receipt of a complete application, a new licence will be prepared together with the current conditions of licence and they will be forwarded to the 'licensee'.  A site inspection may also take place at this time.

Licence Conditions

The licence will include various conditions that are designed to protect people using or accessing the site.  These conditions are based on national model standards and can be varied or removed at any time as circumstances change.  Conditions relate to aspects such as site layout, fire precautions, sanitary facilities, etc.

Examples of 'standard' license conditions can be viewed via the links below:

pdf icon Example model standard conditions - Permanent Residential Caravan Site [65kb]

pdf icon Example Licence - Holiday Static & Touring Caravan Site [196kb]

Mobile Homes Act 2013

The Mobile Homes Act 2013 introduces important changes to the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, which directly affects the way the Council licenses caravan sites with residential pitches in its area.

This Act provides improved protection for people who live in a mobile home on a relevant protected site.  Under the Act site owners must consult with residents with a view to agreeing new site rules that comply with the Act.  Site owners of all relevant protected sites must deposit these agreed rules with the Local Authority by 4 February 2015 (see downloads).  The Act also introduces new enforcement powers and the ability for Councils to charge fees to cover the cost of implementing the Act.

Torridge District Council approved a Park Homes fees policy in May 2014, which applies to all relevant protected sites;  a copy of this policy is available as a download.  See fees and charges at http://www.torridge.gov.uk/article/12721/Financial-Services-Publications

Further information and guidance for site owners and residents is available from the government's website: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/park-homes

Licensing Fees

The Mobile Homes Act 2013 provides for local authorities to charge fees in order to recover the costs of undertaking their licensing functions.  Fees will apply in relation to 'relevant protected sites', for example residential sites, and are chargeable from 1st April 2014.

Other categories of caravan site, such as those used for holiday purposes, are not subject to licensing fees.

Tent Site Licensing

Under the Public Health Act 1936, a site must not be used for the siting of tents for more than 42 consecutive days or more than 60 days in any 12 months, without the benefit of a licence.

If you wish to use your land as a tent site for longer than the days stipulated, you must apply for a site licence.

Before you apply for a licence, you should check that you have the necessary planning permission.  A licence cannot be issued until the corresponding planning permission is in place. Planning Support can be contacted at planning.support@torridge.gov.uk

How do I apply for a 'tent' site licence?

Once planning permission has been obtained, the land occupier must apply in writing for a site licence.  There is no fee for a camping site licence.

Please use our licence application form to apply for a licence:

pdf icon Application for a caravan/tent site licence [179kb]

On receipt of a completed application, a new licence will be prepared together with the current conditions of the licence and they will be forwarded to the 'licensee'.  A site inspection may also take place at this time.

Tent Site Licence Conditions

The licence will include various conditions that are designed to protect people using the site.  These conditions are based on national model standards and can be varied or removed at any time as circumstances change.  Conditions relate to aspects such as site layout, fire precautions, sanitary facilities, etc.

An example of a 'standard' tent site licence can be viewed via the link below:

pdf icon Example Licence - Tented Camping Site [493kb]

Fire Precautions

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the RRO) applies to caravan and camping sites.  The RRO replaces some fire related standards that are in current site licensing conditions.  The local Fire & Rescue Authority are the main enforcers of the RRO, however, local authority inspectors are still required to check that site owners are complying with the obligations under it.  In particular, site owners must carry out a fire risk assessment and make this available to the inspectors.

The Government website: https://Fire & Safety Guidance contains a range of helpful information for businesses on fire safety and the requirements of the RRO.

For further guidance on the implications of the RRO, please contact Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service: www.dsfire.gov.uk

Transferring a site licence

If the site is to be sold or transferred to another person or named body, a new licence will need to be prepared together with the current conditions of licence, which will be forwarded to the new 'Licensee'.  A site inspection may also take place at this time.

Please use our application form to apply for a transfer onlineforms icon Online Site Licence Transfer Application Form [38kb]

Keeping us informed

You should notify us immediately in the event of any changes which may affect the validity of the site licence in order that the licence may be changed accordingly.  These changes may include new planning consents which alter unit types or numbers or other material alterations to the site (for example new verandahs, re-siting of units, etc).

Site Inspections

Licensees can expect to receive an inspection at periodic intervals from an Environmental Protection Officer in order to ensure that the conditions of the licence are being complied with and that other health and safety risks are being adequately controlled.  Inspectors will normally walk the site to check separation distances, numbers of units, structures adjoining caravans, fire provisions, LPG storage areas, toilet blocks etc.  The current electrical certificate, landlord gas safety certificates and any other maintenance records will also be inspected.

Complaints

If you wish to complain about a caravan site within the Torridge area, please contact the Environmental Protection Team