Licensing system for mobile home sites with permanent residents: guidance for local authorities

Guidance for local authority officers in Scotland who are involved with permanent mobile home site licensing.

Glossary of Terms Used in This Guidance

In this guidance we have used the following terms. Please note this glossary defines these terms for the purposes of this guidance only, and is not (and is not intended to be) a reference for how these terms are used in all legislation or by Local Authorities and others. In this guidance:

'1960 Act' means the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960. The 1960 Act is available online at

'1968 Act' means the Caravan Sites Act 1968. The 1968 Act is available online at

'1983 Act' means the Mobile Homes Act 1983. The 1983 Act is available online at

'2014 Act' means the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014. The 2014 Act is available online at

'2016 Regulations' means the Licensing of Relevant Permanent Sites (Scotland) Regulations 2016. The 2016 Regulations are available online at:

'applicant' means the person applying for a first site licence, a site licence holder applying to renew a licence, a site licence holder applying to transfer a licence, or the person seeking to have the licence transmitted to them.

'caravan' follows the definition given in the 1960 Act [3] so is essentially any structure designed or adapted for human habitation which is capable of being moved from one place to another.

'licence condition' means any condition the local authority has place on a licence, such as a requirement to have adequate lighting on the site between dusk and dawn.

'excepted permission' means a permission (either by way of planning permission or a licence under Part 1 of the 1960 Act) to station a caravan on the land for human habitation all year round if the caravan is authorised to be occupied by the site occupier or a person employed by the site occupier (providing that the employee does not have a written agreement).

'exemption' means an exception to the requirement to have a licence under the 1960 Act.

'first site licence application' means the first application for site licence under the new licensing regime, either because the site is a new site, or because it is an existing site but this will be the first time it will have a licence under the new system.

'licence renewal' means a renewal of an existing site licence issued under the new licensing system starting on 1 May 2017.

'mobile home' means a caravan within the meaning of Part 1 of the 1960 Act.

'model standards' means model standards for licence conditions that a local authority can put in place when it issues, or reviews, a licence for a mobile home, park home, or caravan site with permanent residents. The model standards are issued by the Scottish Government under section 5(6) of the 1960 Act. Until new standards are issued the model standards in Circular 17/1990 continue to apply, although local authorities should use their judgement to make sure that licence conditions reflect modern standards and practice.

'resident' refers to people who live on a permanent basis in a mobile home, where the mobile home is usually owned by the resident, and it is situated on a site that is licensed for year round occupation.

'relevant permanent site' has the meaning given in section 32Z6 of the 1960 Act.

'site licence' means a licence to run a relevant permanent site.

'site licence holder' means the person who holds the licence for a caravan site.

'site occupier' has the same meaning as "occupier" in section 1(3) of the 1960 Act [4] .

'transmission' means the procedure that takes place when an existing site licence holder dies, and the site is inherited.

'transfer' means the transfer of an existing site licence from the current licence holder to a new licence holder.

'transferee' means the person to whom a licence would be transferred, or is being transferred, either following a successful application or because of a decision by a local authority to transfer a site licence without an application.

'written agreement' means the legal agreement under the 1983 Act between a resident and site occupier.


Email: Ged Millar

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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