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Camp site licences

Camp site licensing

This information applies to all moveable dwellings (primarily tents and motorhomes). Caravans are controlled under separate legislation.

Licence summary

Under section 269 of the Public Health Act 1936, the use of land as a camping site for more than 42 days consecutively or 60 days in total in any 12 consecutive months requires a site licence from the Council. In addition, the use of land for tented camping for more than 28 days a year normally requires the grant of planning permission. There are exemptions from the licensing requirements and these are set out in section 269 (5) and (6) of the Public Health Act 1936.

Camping site licence will not be time limited unless planning permission is so restricted.

Licences are issued with conditions that are appropriate to the site concerned. They normally relate to the layout of the site and the provision of facilities such as sanitary accommodation.

It is important that applications are supported by a layout plan showing the boundaries of the site, the proposed positions of the tents, car parking, firefighting arrangements, sanitary facilities, refuse arrangements, water supplies and access/egress arrangements. Please use a scale of no less that 1:500.

If you intend to have caravans on your camping site, and have planning permission to do so, you will also need a caravan site licence.

How do I apply for a licence?

Applications can be made online.

How much does a licence cost?

There is no fee for this application.

How long will it take for my application to be assessed?

We aim to acknowledge your application within 5 working days. Applications will be accepted as duly made unless the Council requires further information. We will use the information that you have given us to assess your application. Once a duly made application is received, one of our officers will carry out an inspection of the site. If the site is found to be fit for purpose you will be provided with a list of conditions we propose to attach to your licence and, subject to your agreement, the licence will be issued as soon as possible. If we decide to refuse your application, we will provide reason for doing so and explain your rights of appeal. There is no statutory period for determining applications. However, we aim to determine applications within 28 calendar days.

Will tacit consent apply?

Yes. You will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from us by the end of the 28-day target completion period.

What happens if something changes?

If something changes concerning your site, for example, you change the number of plots or the facilities, or the management arrangements change, you must tell us. You can apply online to transfer an existing camp site licence.

Failed application redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

If a licence holder is refused an application, they may appeal to the local Magistrates' Court. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the written notification of the refusal and a notice of appeal must be served on the Council.

Licence holder redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

If a licence holder wishes to appeal against a condition attached to a licence, they may appeal to the local Magistrates' Court.

The Council may alter conditions at any time but must give licence holders the opportunity to make representations about the proposed changes. If a licence holder disagrees with the alterations, they may appeal to the local Magistrates' Court.

The licence holder may also appeal to the Magistrates' court against compliance notices.

Consumer complaint

We advise that in the event of a complaint, you contact the trader first - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked and you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Bureau will give you advice. From outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

If you would like to make a complaint about a caravan site or you are not happy about other issues such as nuisance (for example noise, dust and drainage), please contact the Council.