The term caravan legally includes those which can be towed behind cars, motor homes, static holiday homes and the more modern residential park homes, which often arrive on site in two sections and are then bolted together.


The law covering caravans is contained in:

  • Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 - This act covers the licensing of caravan sites and the safety, welfare and management conditions which need to be provided.
  • Caravan Sites Act 1968 - This act deals with protection from eviction from residential sites and the maximum dimensions for caravans
  • The Mobile Homes Act 2013 - This act covers the civil law between site owners and residents on ‘protected sites’. A protected site is one which has planning permission for permanent residential use and has been issued with a site licence

The first two Acts are enforced by the Local authority but the Mobile Homes Act may involve action by residents or site owners in the Residential Property Tribunal to resolve any disputes.


Applications for site licences are made to the local authority in whose area the land is situated. Applications must be in writing, should detail the land the application concerns and any other information required by the local authority.

In order to be eligible to be issued a licence the applicant must be entitled to use the land as a caravan site. In addition licences will not be issued to applicants who have had a site licence revoked within three years of the current application.

The local authority can only issue a licence for a new caravan site after it has received the necessary planning permission and a completed application for a site licence.

It may also agree to the transfer of an existing licence to a new licensee.

Licence conditions are slightly different for residential sites, holiday sites, where the caravans are permanently sited but used for holidays (statics) and for touring caravans. The following standard conditions for each type of site are available below:

Existing Residential Site Standards and Conditions
Standard Conditions for Residential Park Home Sites, Endorsed by The Devon Group of Chief Environmental Health Officers.
Touring Caravan Sites Standards Conditions
Standard Conditions for Touring Caravan Sites Standards Conditions.
Static Holiday Sites Standards Conditions
Standard Conditions for Static Holiday Sites.
Register of Caravan Site Licences
A Register of Caravan Site Licences
New Residential Model Standards
Model standards for caravan sites in England


Anyone wishing to apply for a licence can apply online or alternatively an printable application form can be downloaded.

  Apply for a caravan or camp site licence Opens in a new window

  • Restricting when caravans can be on the site for human habitation or restricting the number of caravans that can be on the site at any one time
  • Controlling the type of caravans on the site
  • Controlling the positioning of the caravans or regulating the use of other structures and vehicles including tents
  • Ensuring steps are taken to enhance the land, including planting/replanting bushes and trees
  • To ensure that sanitary and other facilities, services and equipment are supplied and maintained.

Exemptions from licensing are available for certain reasons e.g.

  • Caravans used for short periods
  • Sites run by recognised national caravan organisations
  • Agriculture or forestry workers and showmen
The Local Authority, under the powers of the Mobile Homes Act 2013, has set fees for applications and annual fees. It is required to publish a policy
The Local Authority has produced a policy on the licensing and compliance of residential park homes. This explains how we expect a complaint to be instigated and when they will intervene. It lays out when and how we will investigated a complaint and on what grounds it will consider using its Compliance Notice powers

Site Rules

Whilst we are obliged to publish the site rules and maintain a register of them (by the Mobile Homes (Site Rules, England)Regulations 2014) it can not confirm that the content is acceptable and/or compliant.

Fit and Proper Person Test

The Mobile Homes (Requirement for Manager of Site to be Fit and Proper Person) (England) Regulations 2020, require the manager of a site to be a Fit and Proper Person (the Regulations).

We are accordingly required to introduce a fit and proper person test for mobile home site owners, or the person appointed to manage the site unless they are eligible for an exemption under the regulations.

The current fee for a Fit and Proper Person test application to be assessed is £233.92.

  Download the fit and proper person test fee policy

  Download the fit and proper person test determination policy

To apply

Applications must be made between 1 July 2021 and 30 September 2021.

  Download the fit and proper person test application form

  Download the register for fit and proper persons


The Fee and Determination Policy was approved by Assistant Director (Community & Customer Services)

Record of officer decision
Record of decision to approve the The Fee and Determination Policy

Once you have applied for a licence you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period.

If you wish to check the progress of your application please contact the Licensing and Public Protection Section.

What redress do I have if my application fails?

You are advised to take up any issue with the local authority first.
If a licence holder is refused an application to alter a condition they may appeal to the local magistrates court. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the written notification of the refusal and a notice of appeal must be served on the council.

What redress does the licence holder have?

You are advised to take up any issue with the local authority first.
If a licence holder wishes to appeal against a condition attached to a licence they may appeal to the local Magistrates Court. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the licence being issued.

We may alter conditions at any time but must give licence holders the opportunity to make representations about the proposed changes. If a licence holder disagrees with the alterations they may appeal to the local Magistrates court. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the written notification of the alteration and a notice of appeal must be served on the council.

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by the consumer – preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, you can contact Licensing on 01803 208025

All holiday sites in the Torbay area are licensed with the Council and mostly run by national companies and are listed on the Tourism  Opens in a new window website.

It is strongly recommended that you consult a solicitor before entering into any agreement to buy a park home.

The Council can only provide general information about any of its licensed sites. Please view Related Documents section below to see list of all Torbay Council’s licensed caravan sites.