Caravans and mobile homes can be full time homes but generally they are not covered by the law that protects occupiers of houses and flats.

The main law relating to caravans and residential mobile homes is the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960.

This requires a site licence to station caravans on land for living purposes.


A caravan site licence is designed to protect the health, safety and welfare of caravan occupants and covers fire safety, drainage, wholesome water supplies etc. Very few caravan sites are exempt from these requirements.

A licence application must be in writing and accompanied by a site plan at 1:500 scale showing the layout. There is no fee and a licence is usually issued within two months of application.

We will normally issue a licence unless:

  • there is no planning permission for the caravan(s), or
  • the planning permission is to expire within six months, or
  • the applicant has had a site licence withdrawn in the previous three years

The licence contains conditions that must be observed. These will include:

  • the type of caravan, for example, residential, static holiday or touring.
  • the number of caravans that can be on site per acre/hectare and the spacing between caravans.
  • water supply and drainage, toilet and washing facilities.
  • fire precautions and electrical installations.

There are also controls over other services, site equipment, safety and maintenance; and general restrictions on other structures and vehicles on sites.

If the conditions are not kept to, action can be taken against the person failing to comply, or works may be undertaken in default and costs recovered.

Fit and Proper Person Applications

Public Register for Fit and Proper Persons

Fit and Proper Person Application form and Fees Policy

please email to request a copy of the above documents.

From 1 October 2021, all site owners must have applied to us for their site manager(s) to be assessed as fit and proper persons to manage the site, unless the site is exempt. These details will be included in our public register of fit and proper persons to manage a site. A site owner may only apply if they hold or have applied for a site licence.

Application Fee for Fit and Proper Person Assessment

A fee will be charged for assessing applications to enable the Council to recover the costs of this new responsibility. Further details are available within the Mobile Homes – Fit and Proper Person Application Fees Policy.

This charge, in line with government guidance, is £346 per application. The application relates to the person and the fee is the same regardless of the number of homes on a site.

Exempt sites

A site is exempt if it's “a non-commercial family occupied site”. This is one:
  • only occupied by members of the same family, and
  • not being run on a commercial basis 

The regulations provide further detail about this exemption. Visit the GOV.UK - legislation website for more details.

Apply for a Fit and Proper Assessment

If you are the owner of a licensed mobile home site in East Devon please contact us for an application pack.

Please contact the Private Sector Housing Team at or call 01395 571572.

You must submit your completed application form and all appropriate supporting documents along with the fee by email or by post.

You will be required to supply a current Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate for each site manager with your application, which must be dated no earlier than 6 months before the date of your application. You may apply online for a DBS certificate or your local post office will be able to advise you.

On submission of a full, completed application form together with all the necessary supporting documents, your application will be assessed within a period of 6 weeks and once full payment has been made. A member of the team will contact you directly regarding fee payment after receipt of your application.

The applicant’s details will be recorded on the public Fit and Proper Register for Mobile Home sites in the district after successful completion of the assessment procedure, including payment. Further details are available in the Mobile Homes – Fit and Proper Person Application Fees Policy.

Privacy Statement for the public fit and proper person register. 

Protection of caravan dwellers

All owners or tenants of caravans are protected by law and cannot be forced to leave the site unless the site owner obtains a court order. The site owner is not allowed to harass occupiers.

If you own your mobile home and live in it as your only residence you are protected by the Mobile Homes Act 1983.

This gives you the right to a written agreement which sets out your and the site owner's responsibilities. It must contain the name and address of the site owner, a description of the pitch, and all the residency terms applying. These terms cover issues such as: duration of the agreement, rights of termination, recovery of overpayment on termination, and right to sell or gift the mobile home, pitch fees, service charges and maintenance responsibilities.

The Caravan Sites Act 1968 protects occupiers against harassment and is enforced by us. Harassment is defined as "illegally depriving occupiers of occupation of their mobile home" or "carrying out acts designed to interfere with the peace and comfort of an occupier with the intention of causing them to leave".

Emergency Plan Template for Park Home; Caravan or Camping Sites

Site managers please find this template which you may find useful for creation or update of your site emergency plan. The template has been prepared with additional notes to help guide you through the process. The plan is intended to provide the information you might need to respond to an incident on your site, so that staff know their role and guests or residents can be reassured should the site have an emergency.

The emergency could be severe weather such as a storm or flooding, a power outage, a fire or something that occurs due to a local risk. You may already have business continuity plans, or protocols for a lost child, which can be linked to the emergency plan for completeness.

If you would like a copy of the Emergency Plan template or email