Caravan Site Licence

For information on operating safely during the COVID-19 outbreak, refer to our coronavirus advice for caravan sites and campsites.

If you want to site a caravan on land in New Forest, you need a licence from us.

A caravan site includes anywhere that a caravan (including mobile or 'park home') is situated and occupied for human habitation, including touring sites and single sites. These sites can be for:

  • permanent caravans (utilised as holiday caravans)
  • touring caravans
  • permanent residential caravans.

Before you can apply to operate a caravan site, you must hold planning permission for the development of the site. You 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.

For information on existing caravan sites in New Forest, and the site rules for each, view our public registers of caravan site locations and rules.

On this page:

Apply for a caravan site licence

You can apply to us for a caravan site licence using the GOV.UK online form below.

Alternatively, you can download an application form below.

Icon for pdf Caravan Site Licence Application Form [91.55KB]

Complete the application form and send it to us via email to eho.office@nfdc.gov.uk.

Licence fees

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.

Relevant fees for residential site licences are listed below.

  • Application for a new site on a single pitch: £450.
  • Application for a new multiple licensed site: £637.
  • Multiple licensed site annual fee (due on 1 September): £11 per permitted caravan.
  • Transfer of site licence: £152.
  • Alteration of conditions attached to an existing site licence: £312.
  • Depositing site rules: £75.

Licence conditions

A caravan site licence will have conditions attached. These 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 firefighting 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.

Site licence conditions in New Forest are based on model standards set by the Secretary of State. You can download the relevant Model Standards below.

Icon for pdf Caravan Site Model Standards 1989 [2.85MB]

Icon for pdf Caravan Site Model Standards 2008 [611.47KB]

Generally speaking, older sites were licensed when the 1989 model standards and will remain in force unless there have been substantial changes to the site. Newer sites will have been licensed with regard to the 2008 model standards.

We are instructed that when a current licence condition is adequate in serving its purpose, we should not normally apply the new standard. In any instance, should a site owner wish to update the conditions, for example if the site has been substantially redeveloped, we must consider the interests of both residents and the site owner in the consideration of the proposed condition changes.

Apply to alter licence conditions

A licensee can apply to us to alter the conditions attached to a licence using the GOV.UK online form below.

Alternatively, you can download an application form below.

Icon for pdf Alter a Caravan Site Licence Conditions Application Form [79.01KB]

Complete the application form and send it with the necessary documents via email to eho.office@nfdc.gov.uk.

A fee of £312 must accompany the application for a relevant protected site.

Your application 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.

Transfer 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. We will either endorse or re-issue it.

You can apply to us to transfer an existing caravan site licence using the GOV.UK online form below.

Alternatively, you can download an application form below.

Icon for pdf Transfer of Caravan Site Licence Application Form [87.04KB]

Complete the application form and send it to us via email to eho.office@nfdc.gov.uk.

A fee of £152 must accompany an application for a residential or mixed residential/holiday caravan sites.

As part of any application, we may require additional information. 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.

Exceptions from licences

You do not need a caravan site licence if any of the following exceptions apply.

  • 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 five or more acres, where three caravans or fewer 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.
  • Land is used for a social get-together of exempted organisations, for example a rally of caravan club members.
  • Forestry works, builders, travelling showmen or seasonal workers may stay in caravans on the site.
  • Sites operated and owned by a local council, county councils or regional councils.

Sites that are used for touring caravans, static caravans and permanent residential accommodation (park homes) may all require a licence.

Further information

Our Relevant Protected Site Licensing Fees Policy full explains all legislation applying to caravan site licences. It 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.

You can download this policy document below.

Icon for pdf Relevant Protected Site Licensing Fees Policy [92.76KB]

Visit the GOV.UK website for information for park homes residents in England.

For advice on caravan site licensing, contact us by phone on 023 8028 5230 or by email to eho.office@nfdc.gov.uk.

Public registers of all caravan sites and site rules in New Forest.

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