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Caravan Site Licensing

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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 to us 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. There is a fee to apply for a residential site licence (sometimes referred to as a relevant protected site); all other licence 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. As the new site occupier you should send us the existing 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 residential or mixed residential/holiday caravan 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.


The Mobile Homes Act 2013

Caravan sites are licensed under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960. The Mobile Homes Act 2013 amended this legislation and gives greater protection to the occupiers of residential mobile homes. Under this legislation monitor site licence compliance and take enforcement action where owners are not managing and maintaining their sites and its services. More details on this Caravan Legislation can be found by following the link.

We are able to charge fees for our licensing functions in respect of relevant protected sites (residential and mixed holiday/residential sites). Our adobe icon Site Licence Fees Policy [92kb] 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 Residential Caravan 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 here.

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


Publication of Site Rules

We maintain a Register of Site Rules. If you wish to publish site rules for your site, or to amend the existing site rules you may use this adobe icon form [128kb] which will help ensure all necessary details are provided.  A fee is payable for the deposit of site rules.

Updated: 26 Mar 2020
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