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Caravan site exemptions

Schedule 1 of The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 details cases where a Caravan Site Licence and planning permission is not required. Paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 of the schedule offer exemption in the following situations:

  • Paragraph 4 - Sites Occupied and supervised by Exempted Organisations
    The site must be occupied by the exempted organisation for the purposes of recreation. A member (or officer) of the organisation must be present to supervise the activity on the site. Organisations must have the legal status to enable them to enter into an agreement with the landowner or manager, which gives the control over the site.
  • Paragraph 5 – Sites approved by Exempted Organisations
    Exempted organisations may issue certificates for sites, stating that the land has been approved by the organisation for the use of its members for the purposes of recreation. These sites are known as ‘certified locations’ or ‘certified sites’. Each organisation has to send details of the certificates which it has issued to Defra (for sites in England), the Scottish Executive (for sites in Scotland) or the National Assembly for Wales (for sites in Wales).
  • Paragraph 6 – Meetings organised by Exempted Organisations
    An exempted organisation may use a site for a meeting of its members lasting not more than 5 days, provided that the organisation has made the arrangements and that the meeting is under the supervision of the exempted organisation.

An ‘Exemption Certificate’ indicates status as an Exempted Organisation.

How does an organisation qualify for an exemption certificate?

An organisation is eligible for an exemption certificate if:

  • it is formally constituted
  • encouraging and promoting recreational activities are among its objectives.
  • it is applying for the certificate in its own right

How do we apply?

Certificates are issued by Natural England, the Scottish Government, and the National Assembly for Wales  and are only valid in the country of issue.

Organisations based, or mainly operating in, England should submit their application to Natural England (NE). If a certificate is also required in Scotland and Wales, NE will liaise with colleagues in Scotland and Wales to make the necessary arrangements for the issue of a certificate. (Scotland and Wales will make similar arrangements in respect of applications from organisations based in those countries who want an exemption covering England).

Certificates cannot be used in Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Isles of Scilly. Any organisation which wishes to apply for an exemption certificate for activities in Northern Ireland should contact the Northern Ireland Assembly for details of how to apply for exemption.

Points of Contact

For further information on exemption certificates, a copy of the application form and the booklet A Guide To Touring Caravan Exemption Certificates, please contact one of the following:

For organisations in England, holding rallies mainly in England:

Sharon Sharpe/Paul Ackers
Natural England
Camping and Caravanning Exemptions Team
Ground Floor Zone A
Eastbrook
Shaftesbury Road
Cambridge
CB2 8DR

Tel: Sharon Sharpe 0300 060 2098
Tel: Paul Ackers 0300 060 1081
E-Mail: caravan.camping@Naturalengland.org.uk

For organisations in Scotland, holding rallies mainly in Scotland:

The Scottish Government
Lynn Matthews
The Scottish Government
Housing and Regeneration Directorate
Housing Markets and Supply Division
1J South
Victoria Quay
Edinburgh
EH6 6QQ
Tel: 0131 244 5512
Fax: 0131 244 0948
E-mail:  lynn.matthews@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

For organisation in Wales, holding rallies mainly in Wales:

Welsh Assembly Government
Nick Iles
Decisions Branch
Planning Division
Welsh Assembly Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff 
CF10 3NQ
Tel: 029 2082 3713
Fax: 029 2082 5622
E-mail: Nicholas.iles@wales.gsi.gov.uk 

For details of the issue of exemption certificates in Northern Ireland:

Department of the Environment Northern Ireland
Department of Environment Planning Service
Millennium House
Great Victoria Street
Belfast
BT2 7AQ
Tel: 02890 416 969
Fax: 02890 416 960
Email: Sam.Frizzell@doeni.gov.uk

Further information on the application process, application forms and lists of exempted organisations can be found on the Natural England website.

Page last modified: 31 August 2010
Page published: 23 October 2008