Permanent Caravan Site Licence

Licence summary

On 1 May 2017 a new licensing scheme came into force for permanent residential caravan sites following changes to the Caravan and Control of Development Act 1960 (‘the Act’). Licenses issued previously under the Act will expire on 1 May 2019. Owners of existing and any proposed new site will now be required to apply to the local authority for a new licence under the scheme. The key measures of the scheme are:

  • Giving local authorities a range of powers in relation to the granting, management and revocation of licences;
  • Introducing a 5-year licence period;
  • Introducing the requirement that a site licence holder (and anyone directly managing the site) is a ‘Fit and Proper Person’;
  • An effective process for site owners and site licence applicants to appeal against decisions by the local authority.

It will be illegal to run a permanent residential caravan site without a licence after 1 May 2019. A local authority has 3 months to determine an application once all the relevant information, including the application fee, have been received.

Please note: The applicant must be entitled to use the land as a caravan site. No caravan site licence will be issued without the existence of the appropriate planning permission. The new licensing regime does not cover sites, or parts of sites, that are not relevant permanent sites. It does not therefore include sites and parts of sites where planning permission, or the site licence, is granted for holiday use only.


Local authorities may charge a fee to process a first site licence and any future renewal. No fee can be charged for the transfer of a licence. Aberdeen City Council approved the following fees for sites of different sizes at the Council meeting of 17 December 2018:

Number of residential units Cost of new (first) application Cost of renewal application
1-10 £367.71 £324.45
11-20 £735.42 £648
21-40 £1470.84 £1297.80
41-70 £2573.99 £2111.50
70+ £3677.10 £3244.50

How to apply

Applications must be in writing and submitted via an online form using the following link. Paper-based submissions will not be accepted.

Fit and proper person test

On receiving an application for a Permanent Caravan Site Licence, Aberdeen City Council must decide if the potential licence holder and any other relevant person involved in management of the site are a "Fit and Proper Person". Not meeting the requirements of the test may result in a licence being refused.

Aberdeen City Council may also under certain circumstances share information with other local authorities where it may be of relevance to the fit and proper person test decision by that authority for the purposes of caravan site licensing. The law allows this information to be shared even if there is a duty of confidentiality owed to the person who is the subject of the information. Please refer to any links in the ‘Related Content’ box at the bottom of the page.

How to appeal a refused application

If the local authority is considering rejecting your application for a permanent caravan site licence you will have 28 days to make representations. These representations will then be considered by the local authority before deciding the outcome of your application.

An applicant can appeal to the Sheriff Court if a final decision is made to refuse the application for granting or renewal of a site licence.

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