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Caravan and camping site licence

Caravan sites need planning permission and a licence unless they are owned by the council itself.

Caravans include mobile homes which often resemble small bungalows.

There are two main types of sites:

  • Holiday sites where individuals rent caravans for short periods or where touring caravans are allowed to park for short periods
  • Permanent residential mobile home sites where residents either own the homes outright or rent them on a long term basis from the site owner. They are the permanent and usually only home of the occupiers

Once planning permission is granted, the council must issue a licence.

The council can attach conditions to the licence. The conditions cover different matters to make sure that the welfare and health and safety of site residents are protected and to restrict the possibility of nuisance to adjacent land and property.

Such matters as drainage, gas, water and electricity supply, fire precautions, the permitted density and spacing between caravans, recreational space and boundaries are covered.

Failure to comply with a site condition is a criminal offence once a site licence is in force.

The council must keep a register of all licensed sites which must be available for public inspection at all reasonable times. The South Tyneside register is kept at the Environmental Health Service, Neighbourhood Services, Town Hall & Civic Offices, Westoe Road, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE33 2RL.

If you are a caravan site occupier - you should have a licence already, but you should check that your 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 the council 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 adviser 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 you must have planning permission before a licence can be issued.

Applying for a licence - an application must be completed and accompanied by a site plan showing the layout of roads, caravans and facilities.

How to apply

For more information, contact Environmental Health on 0191 424 7927 or email

Eligibility criteria

You must be entitled to use the land as a caravan site.

Licences will not be issued to applicants who have had a site licence revoked within three years of the current application.

Evaluation process

Applications for site licences are made to the council in whose area the land situated.

Applications must be in writing, should detail the land the application concerns and any other information required by the council.

How long will it take for my application to be processed?

Subject to receiving all the required documentation in relation to your application it will normally be processed with 8 weeks. If we require any further time to consider the application you will be contacted directly.

Will tacit consent apply if I haven't heard back from you?

Yes, if you have not heard from the Council within the specified time period then your application has been processed and the relevant permissions granted.

How do I appeal if my application isn't approved?

You should contact South Tyneside Council in the first instance.

If you are 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 local district council.

How do I appeal against the conditions of my licence?

You should contact South Tyneside Council in the first instance.

You can also appeal to your local Magistrates' Court. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the licence being issued.

The council may alter conditions at any time, but must give licence holders the opportunity to state their views about the proposed changes.

If you disagree with the alterations you may appeal to your 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.

Consumer complaints

If you have a complaint, we advise that you contact the trader, preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery).

If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice.

From outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

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