Caravan and camping site licence
Under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 (subject to certain exceptions), if any part of your land is to be used as a caravan and/ or camping site you must first get a licence from us.
For licensing purposes a caravan is defined as 'any structure designed or adapted for human habitation which is capable of being moved from one place to another (whether by being towed, or by being transported on a motor vehicle or trailer) and any motor vehicle so designed or adapted'.
Under Section 269 of the Public Health Act 1936 you need a licence if you allow a site to be used as a campsite (for the siting of tents) on more than 42 consecutive days or more than 60 days in any consecutive 12 month period.
You don't need a licence to run a campsite if:
- forestry workers, builders, travelling showmen or seasonal workers (like fruit pickers) stay in tents on the site
- the site is five or more acres and there are three or less tents there for 28 days or less a year
- you're a member of an organisation like the Scouts and have an exemption certificate
- your site is approved by an organisation with a camping exemption certificate
- members of an exempted organisation stay in their tents on the site
The site must have been granted planning permission before you can apply for a camping or caravan site licence.
Licences will not be issued to applicants who have had a site licence revoked within three years of the current application.
You can apply for a caravan site licence, to transfer a licence or amend a licence.
You are only required to pay a fee for this licence if your land is to be used as a park for residential caravans. These sites are permanent residential sites which have planning permission to have residents living there as their main residence throughout the year.
Contact us to find out more about fees.
- Apply for a caravan and / or camp site licence
- Apply to change a caravan and camping site licence
- Apply to transfer a caravan and camping site licence
Apply by post
If you require a paper copy of the application form, contact us and we will send the documentation out to you.
Both online and paper applications must include a site plan at 1:500 showing the boundaries of the site, the positions of caravan standings and, where appropriate, the position of roads and footpaths, facilities, fire points and parking spaces.
Application evaluation process
Within seven days of submitting your application, an officer will contact you to arrange a site inspection. You must allow the officer free access to the site and provide all required information.
Implied granting of licence ('tacit consent')
We will acknowledge your application on receipt. In the unlikely event you have not heard anything from us in 30 working days from submission of your application, tacit consent does not apply and your application is not deemed granted. Please contact us in this situation.
We have developed standard model conditions which we will consider when deciding what conditions to attach to the site licence.
To view a list of caravan sites licensed by us download the, although please be aware the register is only periodically updated. If you are unsure if a site is licensed and wish to check, or you suspect a site is not licensed, please contact us.
Information regarding other caravan sites not licensed by us, may be found by using some of the Offsite Links.
In partnership with
- Safety and Occupational Health
- 03000 261 016
Our address is:
- Durham County Council
- Community Protection
- PO Box 617
- County Durham
- United Kingdom
- DH1 9HZ
- Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960
- Public Health Act 1936
- Association of Caravan and Camping Exempted Organisations
- British Destinations
- British Holiday & Home Parks Association
- Caravan industry training
- The Hotel Marketing Association (HMA)
- Gov.uk: camping and caravanning site exemption certificate