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Background to the changes

The reformed mobile home site licensing system aims to bring greater focus on the licence applicant - whether they are applying for their first site licence or renewing an existing one - and their fitness to hold a permanent residential mobile home site licence.

By amending the legislation, the Scottish Government’s objective is to improve and strengthen the licensing regime that applies to mobile park home sites on which people live permanently.

The new system will reflect modern practice and gives local authorities the tools they need to ensure mobile home sites meet acceptable standards, and that licences can be managed and, where necessary, revoked.

The existing licence scheme dates back to the 1960 Caravan Sites Act. It was devised for an emerging leisure caravan holiday market rather than permanent year-round park homeowner sector. This life style has grown increasingly popular for those seeking affordable homeownership, perhaps downsizing from a traditional brick and mortar housing.

The new system aims to give local authorities a range of powers, and appropriate discretion in deciding how to use them, in relation to the granting, management, and revocation of licences.  The provisions in the Housing Bill will therefore strengthen the site licensing system by creating a system that reflects modern practice.

Housing Bill papers

While the Scottish Parliament controls the timetable for all the new legislation we anticipate that the Bill will complete its passage by late 2014. A range of supporting regulations and guidance is required to implement these changes so we anticipate the new system will not take effect until 2016.