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Permanent Residential Caravan Sites (Mobile Homes and Caravans licensed for permanent residence, including sites with residential mobile homes)

These sites are licensed under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 Part 1A. Additional licensing requirements apply to these sites. Licenses for these sites previously issued under Part 1 of the Act expired on 1 May 2019.

Residential sites require a licence and can only be licenced if planning permission is in place for the site. This excludes land for which planning permission or the site licence is granted for holiday use only.

The licensing system in the main covers caravan sites which are residential mobile home sites that are licenced to have permanent residence. However, it also includes sites licensed for permanent residence using other more traditional forms of caravan.

The licensing of residential caravan sites has recently changed due to statutory amendments to the Caravan Site and Control of Development Act 1960 which introduced a new system for licensing and controlling permanent residential sites. The changes include;

  • the site licence holder (and anyone directly managing a site) must be a fit and proper person.
  • licences will now require to be renewed every 5 years.

The 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 that are only used for holidays.

Any site which held a licence in terms of the Part 1 of the Act had until 1 May 2019 to obtain a new site licence. At that point, any existing Part 1 licence ceased to be valid and the site is no longer licensed.

Site Licence Application Procedure

There are three different types of licence:

Upon application for a site licence, the local authority is required to make a decision within a 3 month period from the date all the prescribed (legally required) information (highlighted in the application form) is submitted together with the appropriate pdf icon fee [39kb]. A licence cannot be issued unless the site has planning permission.


Where the local authority requires additional information, which is not prescribed information, the time limit of 3 months is not extended. Although it does not impact the time period for determination, it must be provided if requested, and it may have an impact on the outcome of the licence determination. In the event the local authority fails to make a decision within the 3 month period the site licence will deemed to have been granted.

Upon reaching a decision the local authority must inform the applicant as soon as practicably possible. In the event that consideration is being given to refuse a licence the local authority must give notice to the applicant. The applicant has 28 days to make formal representations which must be fully considered prior to making a final decision on the licence.

The application procedure involves inspection of the site by officers to ensure that the site occupier is complying with existing licence conditions and/or proposed licence conditions.

Licence conditions will be applied to a site licence having regard to the relevant and current Scottish Government's Model Standards and any other conditions which the local authority consider 'necessary or desirable'.

Fit and Proper Person Test

On receiving an application for a mobile home site licence, West Lothian Council must decide if the 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. West Lothian 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 the information is about. This is reflected in our pdf icon Privacy Statement [191kb].

Representations by applicant

If the local authority notifies the applicant that it is considering refusing the application for licence the applicant has the right to make representation to the local authority. The representation should be made to the Environmental Health & Trading Standards Manager.

Appeal against refused application

The 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.