If you allow your land to be used as a camping site by the public for more than 42 days consecutively - or 60 days in a year - you require a licence from us.

Conditions may be attached to a licence and will include:

  • The type of camping including tents, caravans, for example, residential, static holiday or touring
  • The number of tents/pitches, caravans that can be on site per acre/hectare and the spacing between tents/pitches, caravans
  • Water supply and drainage, toilets and washing facilities
  • Fire precautions and electrical installations

Licence summary

There are exceptions for organisations that hold camping, caravan club exemption certificates. Please contact us to discuss any exceptions.

We will normally issue a licence unless:

  • There is no planning permission for the tents/pitches, caravan(s), or
  • The planning permission is to expire within 6 months, or
  • The applicant has had a site licence withdrawn in the previous three years

Application evaluation process

Applications must be in writing or via the online form, should detail the land the application concerns and include a site plan at 1:500 scale and any other information required within the application by us.

We will process your application before it can be granted. We normally issues a licence within two months of receiving the application.


If you have been refused a licence you may appeal to a local magistrates court.

You may appeal against a condition attached to a licence to a local magistrates court. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the licence being issued.

We may alter conditions at any time but we must give the licence holders the opportunity to make representations about the proposed changes. If the 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 us.

Trade associations

The following trade associations may be useful:

British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA)

British Resorts and Destinations Association

Caravan Industry Training (CITO)

National Caravan Council (NCC)

Establishing a Caravan Site or Campsite:
Using Private Water Supplies

If you are planning or in the process of establishing a new caravan or campsite, which is to be connected to a private water supply please let us know so that we can give you more advice. 

It is important to be aware of the regulations which apply to these water sources and your responsibilities as a site owner / manager. For further information we recommend you visit the Drinking Water Inspectorate’s web pages on private supplies and engage the services of a water engineer to assess the suitability of your supply for this purpose.

East Devon District Council is required by law to monitor private water supplies to ensure safety standards are met. Campsites are considered to be a ‘public activity’ under regulation 9 of the Private Water Supply Regulations 2016 (as amended). They require routine risk assessment and annual sampling*, regardless of the site’s licensable status under other legislation.

This work must be carried out and the results verified prior to the site opening. Please contact us via our website at the earliest opportunity if you are considering such a venture.

Please note that planning permission is required to open a caravan or camping site unless you are a Certified Site from an authorised licensing group (such as the Camping and Caravanning Club), where you may be permitted to accommodate up to 5 caravans or motorhomes, and 10 tents for a maximum of 28 consecutive days at any one time. Details of how to apply for planning permission can be found on our website – see link below.

For more information on setting up a campsite please visit:

Caravans, mobile residential homes and camping sites
Business and investment