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Caravan site licensing

If you want to use land to use land as a caravan site in the New Forest, you're likely to require a caravan site licence. This applies to 

  • permanent residential caravan site, sometimes known as 'relevant protected sites' (caravans on such sites are often known as mobile homes or park homes)
  • permanently sited caravans used as holiday caravans
  • touring caravan sites - often as part of a campsite
  • single residential caravans

Before you can apply to operate a caravan site, you must hold planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness. Without relevant planning permission, you cannot apply for a site licence.

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.

Caravan site licence application form (PDF) [91KB] (opens new window)

Complete the application form and send it to us via email to

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: £565
  • application for a new multiple licensed site: £800
  • multiple licensed site annual fee due on 1 September: £14.00 per permitted caravan
  • transfer of site licence: £192
  • alteration of conditions attached to an existing site licence: £392
  • depositing site rules: £94

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 the New Forest are based on, but not identical to, model standards set by the Secretary of State. You can download the relevant Model Standards below.

Caravan Site Model Standards 2008 (PDF) [611KB] (opens new window)

Some older sites were licensed with reference to previous 1989 model standards. Newer sites are licensed with regard to the 2008 model standards. Should a site owner wish to update the conditions, for example if the site has been substantially redeveloped, we will consider the interests of both residents and the site owner in the determination of the proposed condition changes.

Apply to alter licence conditions

A licensee can apply to us to alter the conditions using the application form below:

Alter a caravan site licence conditions application form (PDF) [79KB] (opens new window)

Complete the application form and send it with the necessary documents via email to

A fee of £392 must accompany the application for a relevant protected site.

If the proposed changes are likely to impact upon other residents of the site, we will ask you to consult with them on the proposal. Once we have all the information that we require, we will discuss your request with you and seek to reach agreement on any amended conditions. In the unlikely event that we do not agree to alter the conditions, a means of appeal exists to the Southern Region Residential Property Tribunal for residential sites and to the local magistrates court for other sites.

Transfer a licence

If you are planning to buy, sell or transfer a relevant protected site you should contact us before doing so to check whether we can accept an application for the transfer of a licence or grant a new licence in replacement of the existing one. This approach should also ensure that a tentative decision can be reached in advance of a formal application.

If you have acquired the lease or ownership of a licensed caravan site, you will need to apply to transfer the existing licence. Please used this form to apply:

Transfer of caravan site licence application form (Word doc) [50KB] (opens new window)

Complete the application form and send it to us via email to

A fee of £192 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.

Exemptions from licensing

You may not need a caravan site licence if any of the following exemptions apply:

  • sites occupied and supervised by exempted organisations. An example of an exempted organisation is the Camping and Caravanning Club. Exemption Certificates are issued by Natural England on behalf of Defra.

    Exempted organisations may approve the use of land for
    - all year caravan sites for up to 5 caravans - known as Certified Locations
    - unlimited tent camping pitches see Recreational organisation exemptions for more information
    - social get-together of exempted organisations, for example a rally of caravan club members
    - unlimited member only rally apices for not more than 5 days
  • incidental use of a caravan (e.g., as an additional bedroom) within the curtilage of a house
  • caravans occupied by seasonal workers (e.g., fruit pickers), forestry workers, builders,  staying in caravans on site
  • a single caravan used by a person for not more than two nights in one location, 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
  • council-owned and operated caravan sites

Contact us if you believe that your site is subject to any of these exemptions.

Relevant Protected Site Licensing Fees Policy

Our Relevant Protected Site Licensing Fees Policy explains how we have determined the fees to charge for the work that we undertake in relation to permanent residential caravan sites. It sets out the fees that 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.

Relevant protected site licensing fees policy (PDF) [172KB] (opens new window)

This policy and the charges do not apply to holiday caravan sites. Our licensing activities including advice, in relation to holiday caravan sites are not charged for.

Information for residents

If you live in park home,  useful information on your rights and obligations can be found at information for park homes residents in England. In addition, helpful Government funded advice is available for park home residents from the Leasehold Advisory Service.

For advice on caravan site licensing, contact us by phone on 023 8028 5230 or by email to

Caravan sites public registers

Public registers of all caravan sites, site rules and fit and proper persons in the New Forest.

Campsite licensing

Apply for a licence for a camping site operating for more than 28 days.

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