Natural England - Touring caravan exemption certificates

Touring caravan exemption certificates

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.

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 Natural England (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 only, 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 to apply

Certificates are issued by Natural England, the Scottish Executive, and the National Assembly for Wales.

The Scottish Executive will consider applications from organisations based in Scotland and whose activities are mainly in Scotland. The National Assembly for Wales will consider applications from organisations which are based in Wales and whose activities are mainly in Wales. Natural England will consider all other applications.

The certificate can be used by the organisation named on the certificate only in the issuing country. These certificates cannot be used in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Isles of Scilly. Northern Ireland operates a similar, but entirely separate system. For further information contact them at: Policy and Legislation Unit, Planning Services Headquarters, Millennium House, 17-25 Great Victoria Street, Belfast BT2 7BN. Tel: 02890 416966.

The certificate is valid for a maximum of 5 years, and is issued to a named club for their exclusive use.

List of exempted organisations

A list of organisations exempted: (379kb)pdf document under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 can be downloaded here or obtained from the addresses shown below. Please note the list is correct as at the date shown in the heading. Any subsequent amendments will be reflected in the next version.

Contact us

For further information on exemption certificates or to request a hard copy of the guidance and application form please contact one of the following:

Sharon Sharpe or Paul Ackers
Natural England
Camping and Caravanning Exemptions Team
Ground Floor Zone A
Shaftesbury Road
Tel: Sharon Sharpe 0300 060 2098, Paul Ackers 0300 060 1081
Fax: 01223 533531

If you have any queries, please email us at:

In other parts of the UK

For organisations in Scotland, holding rallies mainly in Scotland
Ged Millar 
Directorate of Housing, Regeneration and Welfare
Housing Options and Policy Unit
Area 1H South
Victoria Quay
Tel: 0131 244 5528

For organisation in Wales, holding rallies mainly in Wales:
Welsh Government
Decisions Branch
Planning Division
Cathays Park
CF10 3NQ

For organisation in Northern Ireland, holding rallies mainly in Northern Ireland:
Policy and Legislation Unit
Planning Services Headquarters
Millennium House
17-25 Great Victoria Street