Park homes and caravan site licences
You will need a licence to run most caravan sites. There are some exemptions, for an overview and to find out if you need a licence or not, visit: GOV.UK - Caravan site licence
Before you apply for a licence you need to make sure the land you want to operate from has planning permission to be used as a caravan site.
Information for new site owners
In West Suffolk you will need a licence in order to use your land as a mobile home or caravan site. You can apply for a licence from the local council that your land is located in.
If a licence is granted, there may be conditions attached, these may include:
- restricting when caravans can be on the site for human habitation
- restricting the number of caravans that can be on the site at any one time
- controlling the types of caravans on the site
- controlling the positioning of the caravans
- regulating the use of other structures and vehicles including tents
- ensuring steps are taken to enhance the land, including planting or replanting of bushes and trees
- imposing fire safety and fire fighting controls
- ensuring that sanitary and other facilities, services and equipment are supplied and maintained
Licences will not be issued to applicants who have had a site licence revoked within three years of the current application.
Requirement for manager of site to be fit and proper person
Further information can be found on the Fit and Proper Person Test for Mobile Home Site managers page on our website.
The Mobile Homes Act 2013
The Mobile Homes Act 2013 was passed in March 2013; it amends the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960. The act aims to improve housing standards, give greater protection to home owners and to allow local authorities more effective enforcement methods.
The new powers came into effect from 1 April 2014 mean that councils can:
- charge fees for new residential site licences, licence transfers and variations
- charge an annual fee to existing residential site licence holders
- refuse a licence (or refuse to transfer a licence)
- if necessary serve and enforce 'compliance notices' and undertake emergency works together with the power to recover expenses and costs relating to works in default
- be the keeper of 'site rules.' These rules must be deposited with the council by site operators between 28 and 42 days after service of the consultation response document. The act allows a small fee to be charged for depositing these rules.
- Current site rules deposited with West Suffolk Council
- Fees policy for licensing residential caravan sites
To apply for a licence
You will need to apply to the licensing authority where your caravan site is located. This is usually the local council, if you do not know who that is, see: GOV.UK - find your local council
To apply in West Suffolk, visit GOV.UK - Application for a caravan and camping site licence from West Suffolk Council
How long is my licence valid for?
The licence is valid for as long as the land has planning permission to be used as a caravan site.
Does tacit authorisation apply?
Yes, a decision should be reached within 28 days.
Mobile home owners
If you are a mobile home owner and would like more information about your rights, see our Mobile homes page.