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Caravan, camping and mobile home

Site licensing

If you want to site a caravan on land within the Borough of Swale you need a licence, unless one of the following exceptions applies:

Sites which are used for touring caravans, static caravans and those used for permanent residential accommodation - also referred to as park homes (relevant protected sites) - 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.

How to apply for a new licence

You can apply for a caravan site licence online or download an application form (PDF 42kb).

A licence fee may be applicable for a new relevant protected site i.e. permanent residential home with all year use. All other types of sites are free.

Requesting a change or transferring a licence

If you have acquired the lease or ownership of a licensed caravan site you will need to have the licence details changed.

You can apply for this change/transfer online or download an application form (PDF 48kb).

A fee may be applicable for a transfer of a relevant protected site licence. All other types are free.

If you need advice on caravan, camping or mobile home site licensing you can email or phone 01795 417538 our Housing Team.

Caravan site licensing conditions

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

If the licensing authority wish to make changes to a licence this will be discussed with the owner 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 for other sites go to the local magistrate’s court.

Legislation: Caravan sites and control of development Act 1960, Mobile Homes Act 2013.

Caravan site licensing was introduced in the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 and 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'.

The new 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.

A fee of £60 is payable to Swale Borough Council on deposit of site rules.

Public register licensed sites in Swale

In addition to numerous holiday caravan and camping sites there are several privately owned permanent residential sites in Swale each accommodating between 1 and 74 park homes.  

View our list of caravan sites (CSV 6kb).

Changes to the Law

The Mobile Homes Act 2013 which amends the provisions of the 1983 Act and is designed to protect residents of park homes; it came into force in sections. The sections relating to site rules and sale of homes came into force on 26 May 2013. The sections relating to changes to site licensing came into force on 1 April 2014. The Mobile Homes (Selling and Gifting) (England) Regulations 2013 details the procedures for selling and buying a mobile home.

The Council will inspect certain larger mobile home parks on an annual basis and will continue to work with parks to ensure parks are aware of the new legislation. If you have any concerns over standards on parks or over changes in legislation please contact our Housing Services team.

The government has also set up a park homes advice line, which will be run by the Leasehold Advisory Service.

View more information for residents on park home guidance and rights and obligations.

As a result of the above changes the Council now has a duty to publish any park rules that are deposited with the council following a relevant consultation between the site owner(s) and residents.

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

List of current site rules

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