Caravan site licences
East Staffordshire Borough Council has a statutory duty under The Caravan Site and Control of Development Act 1960 to licence caravan sites. This legislation also covers park and mobile homes.
The Mobile Home Act 2013, which amends the above Act, aims to improve housing standards including matters such as layout and services to give better rights and a greater protection to the residents. The Act provides local authorities with effective enforcement options regarding licensing conditions to ensure the residents health and safety is better protected and the value of their homes are safeguarded.
The new licensing scheme came into effect from the 1st April 2014, allowing Councils to monitor site licence compliance more effectively, taking relevant enforcement action where owners or managers are not managing their sites properly.
For further information about how the changes affect you, download the leaflet Park homes: know your rights from the Department of Communities and Local Government or go to https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/park-homes.
Another source of information and advice 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.
Why do sites need a licence?
The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 prohibits the use of land as a caravan site unless the occupier holds a site licence issued by the local authority.
A caravan is 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, but not railway rolling stock which is for the time being on rails forming part of a railway system, or a tent.
If you want to site a caravan on land you need a licence 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 and 28 days in 12 months;
- Holdings of five acres or more, if not more than 28 days in 12 months, and a maximum of three caravans at any time;
- Sites occupied and supervised by exempted organisations;
- Sites approved by exempted organisations for up to five caravans;
- Meetings organised by exempted organisations;
- Agricultural and forestry workers;
- Building and engineering sites;
- Travelling showmen;
- Sites operated and owned by a local council, county councils or regional councils.
What are the conditions of registration?
Licences are issued with conditions which include:
- the type of caravan, e.g. residential, static holiday or touring.
- the permitted density (the number per acre/hectare) and the spacing between caravans.
- water supply and drainage; lavatory and washing facilities.
- fire precautions and electrical installations
ESBC Licensing Fees
The 2013 Act requires that where a local authority intends to charge fees it must prepare and publish a fee policy, which can be revised from time to time. It is however, at the Local Authority’s discretion whether they charge for all or any aspect of site licensing.
Fees are applicable to ‘relevant protected sites’ for the following activities:
- Application for a new licensed site
- Annual fee for the administration and monitoring of licenses
- Transfer of a site licence
- Alteration to conditions on an existing licence
- Depositing of site rules and their publication
- Service of Enforcement Notices
East Staffordshire Borough Councils Mobile Homes Fee Policy 2014 details the fees associated with the above activities. The charges will be effective from the 1st April 2015.
Sites which do not fall within the definition of relevant protected site are still subject to the licensing requirements contained within the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, but the provisions relating to payment of fees do not apply.
How do I apply?
Can I view a public register of caravan sites in East Staffordshire?
Yes-There are 6 privately owned permanent residential sites in East Staffordshire Borough Council each accommodating over one park home. Public Register of Caravan Sites.
Publication of relevant protected site rules
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.
The following Site Rules have been deposited with East Staffordshire Borough Council.
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.
How long will it take you to process my registration?
We will acknowledge your application within 7 working days and process your application within 2 months.
Will tacit consent apply?
Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority within 2 months.
If my registration is refused, how do I appeal?
Please raise any concerns with the Council. However an applicant who is refused a licence or wishes to appeal against the conditions can appeal to their local Magistrates' court within 28 days.
What if I have a complaint or concern?
Please contact the Housing Standards Team.
If you require any further information please contact:
Housing Standards Team
Tel: 01283 508680