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Caravan site licence

The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 prohibits the use of land as a caravan site within Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole unless the occupier holds a site licence issued by us. The exemptions to this Act are if:

  • a caravan sited with the curtilage of a dwelling and its use is incidental to the dwelling, this means it cannot be occupied separately 
  • a single caravan sited for not more than 2 consecutive nights for a maximum of 28 days in any 12 months 
  • up to 3 caravans on a site of not less than 5 acres for a maximum of 28 days in any 12 months 
  • sites occupied by exempted organisations such as the Caravan Club 
  • sites of up to 5 caravans certified by an exempt organisation and which are for members only 
  • sites occupied by us, for example designated traveller sites 
  • sites for temporary and special purposes such as caravan rallies, agricultural and forestry workers, building and engineering sites and travelling salesmen 
  • a site for tents only can be used for a maximum of 28 days in any 12 months.

Licence conditions

Licences have conditions which include:

  • the type of caravan, for example, 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.

If you are a caravan site occupier

You should have a licence already but you should check that your name, the site name and address is correct and up to date. Also check that the licence corresponds with your planning permission. If not, you should send us the licence for re-issue. 

If you have recently become a caravan site occupier

Licences are transferable to a new occupier but the law requires us to give consent for the transfer. You should send us the licence with a request for transfer and we will either endorse or re-issue it.

If you are a potential site occupier

You or your legal advisor should check that all the land used for siting caravans has planning permission and that the details correspond with the site licence. If you wish to change the use of the land to a permanent caravan site use, you must have planning permission before a licence can be issued.

How to apply

Please contact us to make an application. The application must be accompanied by a site plan at 1:500 scale showing the layout of roads, caravans and facilities.

Apply to be added to the Fit and Proper Person Register

Download the application form to apply to be added to the Register. Once completed, send your application form to us.

From July 1 2021, for existing sites, all site owners are required to make a fit and proper person application.

Other applications

Site owners have 3 months to make an application if the circumstances relating to the nominated fit and proper person change in relation to an existing caravan site. Circumstances include:

  • if there is a transfer of a site licence
  • if there is a change in management of a site
  • if a person has been removed from the register by the local authority.


The fee accompanying every application is £250. An invoice will be sent following receipt of the application. You can view our Fees Policy and further detailed guidance for more information. The Fit and Proper Person Register will be available to view soon.