To run a caravan or camping site, you need a licence from the local authority. The number of caravans permitted on the site will be specified on the licence along with other specific conditions which are designed to provide adequate standards of amenities, facilities to users and more importantly to protect their health and safety.
The Caravan and Control of Development Act 1960 prohibits the use of land as a caravan site unless the occupier holds a site licence issued by the local authority.
There are some exceptions:
- 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 two consecutive nights for a maximum of 28 days in any 12 months.
- Up to three caravans on a site of not less than five 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 the local authority. These are usually traveller sites.
- Sites for temporary and special purposes such as caravan rallies, agricultural and forestry workers, building and engineering sites and travelling salesmen.
Completing your application
How to apply
You can also download a caravan site licence application form.
It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard anything within a reasonable period, please contact us using the details below.
Information to include with your application:
An application must be completed and accompanied by a site plan at 1:500 scale showing the layout of roads, caravans and facilities.
There is no fee for an application for a new or amended site licence.
You can contact us using our online enquiry form
By post at:
Argyll and Bute Council
- The applicant 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.
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 consent either through the Council's Development Management Service or The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority, as appropriate, before a licence can be issued.
Licences have conditions which may include:
- Restricting when caravans can be on the site for human habitation or restricting the number of caravans that can be on the site at any one time.
- The type of caravan, e.g. residential, static holiday or touring.
- The permitted density (the number per acre/hectare) and the spacing between caravans.
- Controlling the positioning of the caravans or regulating the use of other structures and vehicles including tents.
- Ensuring that sanitary and other facilities, water supply, drainage, services and equipment are supplied and maintained.
- Fire precautions, fire fighting controls and electrical installations.
- to ensure steps are taken enhance the land, including planting/replanting bushes and trees.
The Application Process
Applications for site licences are made to the local authority in whose area the land is situated.
Applications must be in writing, should detail the land the application concerns and any other information required by the local authority.
Objections and Appeals
You are advised to take up any issue with the local authority first.
If you are refused an application or to alter a condition you may appeal to the local Sheriff Court. Appeals against the refusal of an application must be made to the Sheriff Principal of North Strathclyde, Paisley Sheriff Court, St James Street, Paisley, PA3 2AW. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the written notification of the refusal and a notice of appeal will be served on the local council.
You are advised to take up any issue with local authority first.
If you wish to appeal against a condition attached to a licence you may appeal to the local Sheriff Court. The appeal must be made within 28 days of the licence being issued.
We may alter conditions at any time but must give licence holders the opportunity to make representations about the proposed changes. If a licence holder disagrees with the alterations they may appeal to the local Sheriff 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 local council.