The licensing of caravan sites in Scotland is governed by the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 (“the 1960 Act”). The Act sets out the criteria that must be met in order to qualify for, and any conditions that may be attached to, a site licence. Any changes to the existing site licensing process will update the provision as set out in the 1960 Act.
There is increased evidence that the licensing regime requires to be strengthened to help protect the welfare of permanent residents. There is also evidence to suggest that a small minority of residents are living permanently on sites that are only licensed for holiday or restricted occupancy. These residents are particularly vulnerable and at risk as they do not have the legal protections offered by the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (“the 1983 Act”).
The 1983 Act does not apply to sites which have a licence for holiday or restricted use only. This means that people who live on these sites, even when they are occupying the mobile home as their only or main residence, do not have any statutory protections.
The Scottish Government wants to ensure that there is no additional burden imposed on well-run holiday sites which could impact adversely on the tourism industry. However, it is also important to ensure that the holiday sector does not become more attractive to unscrupulous site owners should it be seen to have a less comprehensive site licensing regime.
In considering the introduction of an improved licensing regime for caravan sites, this consultation is aiming to gather views on six proposals for tightening the site licensing regime. Views are also sought on the type of caravan site that the new law should apply to.