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Caravan Site Licensing




If you want to site a caravan on land in The New Forest you need a licence from us unless one of the following exceptions applies:

  • Incidental use within the curtilage of a dwelling house;
  • Single caravan used by a person for not more than two nights, totalling not more than 28 days in 12 months;
  • Use of land of 5 or more acres where 3 or less caravans are stationed for 28 days or less a year;
  • Sites occupied and supervised by exempted organisations;
  • Sites approved by exempted organisations for up to five caravans;
  • Where land is used for a social get-together of exempted organisations, e.g. a rally of caravan club members;
  • forestry works, builders, travelling showmen or seasonal workers (like fruit pickers) may stay in caravans on the site;
  • Sites operated and owned by a local council, or gipsy sites occupied by county councils or regional councils.

Sites which are used for touring caravans, static caravans and those used for permanent residential accommodation - also referred to as park homes - may all require a licence.

The Licence and Planning Permission

Before you can apply to operate a caravan site you must hold planning permission for the development of the site, and must also comply with any conditions set. Without relevant planning permission, you cannot apply for a licence. A certificate of lawfulness issued by the planning authority is a valid alternative to planning permission.

Applying for a new licence

You can apply for a caravan site licence using this link Alternatively you can print out and complete a paper adobe icon application [91kb] and return it to us. A fee must accompany an application for a new relevant protected site.  All other types are free.  See Environmental Health Fees and Charges 2019/2020 for details of the relevant fee. If you want advice on caravan site licensing then please contact us on 023 8028 5230 or by email:

Transferring a licence

If you have acquired the lease or ownership of a licensed caravan site you will need to transfer the existing licence. The law requires us to give consent for the transfer. As the new site occupier you should send us the licence with a request for transfer and we will either endorse or re-issue it. You can apply for this transfer at Alternatively you can print out and complete a paper adobe icon application [87kb]. A fee must accompany an application for a relevant protected site (i.e. residential or mixed residential/holiday sites).  All other types are free. See Environmental Health Fees and Charges 2019/2020 for details of the relevant fee. 

As part of any application, we may require additional information to determine the suitability of the proposed licence holder. We are under a duty to exercise discretion and cannot grant or approve a transfer without making relevant enquiries into the proposed licence holder's suitability to hold the licence.

Caravan Site Licence Conditions

A Caravan Site Licence will have conditions attached. These are based on Site Licence Conditions and may include;

  • restricting the number and type of caravans that can be on the site at any one time
  • controlling the positioning and spacing of caravans from each other, the site boundary and site roads
  • The width and maintenance of site roads and hard standings;
  • the prohibition of combustible storage sheds between units
  • fire safety and fire fighting controls
  • water supply and drainage and refuse disposal
  • storage of bottled gas and the safety of electrical installations;
  • to ensure steps are taken enhance the land, including planting/replanting bushes and trees
  • information to be displayed on the site


Applying to Alter Conditions

A licensee is able to apply to alter the conditions attached to a licence, at  Alternatively you can print out and complete a paper adobe icon application [79kb] and post it to us with the necessary documents.  A fee must accompany the application for a relevant protected site, click Environmental Health Fees and Charges 2019/2020 for details of the relevant fee. If we wish to make changes to the conditions this will be discussed and a response invited before new conditions are issued. Where an agreement cannot be reached, a means of appeal exists to the Southern Region Residential Property Tribunal for Park Home sites and to the local magistrates court for other sites.


Legislation and The Mobile Homes Act 2013

Caravan sites and their licensing was introduced with the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960. More recently The Mobile Homes Act 2013 has been introduced with the aim of giving greater protection to the occupiers of residential mobile homes. As part of the changes a new licensing scheme  is introduced that enables local authorities to monitor site licence compliance and take enforcement action where owners are not managing and maintaining their sites and its services. Local Authorities will be able to charge fees for their licensing functions in respect of  'relevant protected sites'. More details on this Caravan Legislation can be found by following the link.

In response to the Mobile Homes Act 2013, you can view the adobe icon NFDC Residential Protected Site Licence Fees Policy [92kb] which sets out when fees are payable and what exemptions apply in relation to the following activities;

  • application for a new licensed site
  • annual fees for administration and monitoring of licences
  • transfer of a site licence
  • alteration to conditions on an existing licence
  • depositing of site rules and their publication

For further information about how the changes affect you, download this leaflet adobe icon 'Park homes: know your rights' [389kb] from the Department of Communities and Local Government or go to

Another source of information and advise is the Leasehold Advisory Service, a Non Departmental Public Body funded by Government to provide free legal advice to leaseholders, landlords, professional advisers, managers and others on the law affecting residential leasehold.

Public Register of Relevant Protected Sites in the New Forest

Under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, we are required to keep a register of site licences  situated in the New Forest District. View the register of multiple relevant protected sites here.

Information on other sites (e.g. holiday sites) can be viewed at the Council Offices. 


Publication of Relevant Protected Site Rules

The Mobile Homes (Site Rules) (England) Regulations 2014 changed the way in which operators of residential sites set site rules. It means that current site rules ceased to have effect on 4 February 2015 and new rules would need to be produced  which are be deposited with, and published by the local authority.

You can view the 

deposited with New Forest District Council by following the link.

The legislation is designed to ensure the good management of residential sites for the benefit of residents and visitors. It sets out the procedure to be followed for the introduction or changing of site rules. The Regulations also prohibit the setting of some rules, such as prohibiting the homeowner from making improvements to the home or pitch; requiring visitors to report to the park office or only allowing visitors to stay in the home when a homeowner is present, or restricting the homeowner to purchasing goods or services from the park owner.

The Regulations require park owners to consult occupiers and any residents' associations by sending them a proposal notice which includes details of the proposals and the reasons for making them. Occupiers and residents' associations must be given at least 28 days to respond to the consultation. Following expiry of the consultation period the park owner has 21 days to decide which proposals to implement, taking into account any representations made, and to notify the occupiers and residents' association of their decision. The occupiers or residents' association have 21 days to appeal the park owner's decision to the Tribunal, if they consider that it is unreasonable or the correct procedure has not been followed.

Owners of multiple park home sites wishing to deposit site rules with New Forest District Council may use this adobe icon form [128kb] which will help ensure all necessary details are provided.  A fee is payable on deposit of site rules.

Updated: 17 Jan 2020
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