Campsite licence

Campsite and Touring Caravans Licence

You must have planning permission for the campsite before you apply for a licence.

You do not need a licence to run a campsite if:

  • the site is used for camping in tents on fewer than 42 days in a row, or fewer than 60 days in any 12 month period
  • you are a member of an organisation like the Scouts and have an exemption certificate (external link)
  • your site is approved by an organisation with a camping exemption certificate
  • members of an exempted organisation stay in their tents on the site

If you are planning to have caravans on the site, you may need to apply for a caravan site licence instead (external link).


The council may put conditions on the licence including:

  • how the site should be laid out
  • how many tents or moveable structures are allowed
  • what toilet and washing facilities should be provided

If you disagree with the conditions, you can appeal to a local magistrates court (external link). The council may change licence conditions at any time but they will normally discuss any changes with you.

How to apply

Contact your local council for an application form, email

Send in any information the council needs along with your form. For example, a plan showing things like site boundaries, where the tents are going to be put and any washing facilities.

You will not have to pay a fee for a licence.

You can go ahead with your campsite plans if the council does not reply to your application within one month.

Fines and penalties

You can be fined if you:

  • do not get a licence
  • break any of your licence conditions

If you break your licence conditions, your licence may be withdrawn.