Holiday Park and Caravan Park Licensing

If you run a holiday or caravan park in the UK, or are planning on opening one, there are certain licences you need to be aware of. 

Before you begin applying for licences for premises, alcohol, food, and more though, you need the relevant licence and planning permission from your local council to ensure you are able to operate a caravan park on your land. In addition to this, you need to consider what types of establishments, leisure facilities and activities you plan to have on site - as each of these have their own licensing requirements.

We will discuss the main licences you need to be aware of as a caravan or holiday park owner below, but feel free to reach out to our expert team for personalised advice, either by phone, email, or by filling out our online contact form.

What licences do I need for a Holiday or Caravan park premises?

If you’re looking to open a holiday park or caravan park premises, there are a number of licences you should consider to ensure that your business follows the correct guidelines and operates under the law.

Here are the key licences and other elements you should obtain or look into when starting your new holiday park or caravan park business.

1. Holiday Park Premises licence

A premises licence will be required to sell alcohol in your holiday park, along with a personal licence. Whether a single licence is all that is required to cover the whole park depends on which establishments you are planning on opening. 

If individual businesses, such as restaurants and bars, are going to be operating within your park, it is likely they will need to obtain their own premises licence.

When applying for a premises licence, you should be aware that recently, a holiday park in Yorkshire recently applied for a single licence to cover the entirety of their site. This is a viable, if uncommon option for licensing a Holiday or Caravan park. As such though, we present licensing information that covers the entire site, as well as individual premises.

You should also be aware that whatever premises are being opened within your holiday or caravan park, the premises licence is the most important and complex licence required. Failure to meet the requirements laid out in your premises licence may result in properties within your park closing, or even the park as a whole.

These factors should all be considered carefully when applying for a Premises Licence:

The Operating Schedule of your holiday park or caravan park business

Understanding your operating schedule and licensing objects is vital to the maintenance of your Premises Licence. During this part of the application, you must detail exactly how you will promote the following licensing objectives within your park:

  • The promotion of Public Safety
  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • The protection of children from harm

Due to the nature of caravan and holiday parks, it is essential that this part of your licence is filled out to the best of your ability, as mistakes may have long-term consequences for your business.

If you would like guidance while filling out this part of your premises licence application, consider reaching out to a member of our team today. We have years of experience aiding businesses achieve their premises licence across a range of sectors, and will be able to provide advice and guidance.

Your hours of operation

It may be especially tricky to decide on the hours of operation of your holiday or caravan park, as customers will want the option to come and go as they please. 

You must make sure you keep this in mind when deciding on your hours of operation, while also considering the security of your other guests. Will guests who have exited the site need a special entrance designed for late night entry? Or will you have one or two entrances always require guests to enter through a secure gateway?

If you are licensing specific premises on your property alongside the property as a whole, you should also consider how late they will remain open.

Ensuring that you stick to the times laid out in your licence is very important, and businesses found to be trading after their licensed hours may face penalties.

To help you understand the best hours of operation for your business, speak to John Gaunt & Partners. We offer expert advice built on years of experience, all to help you decide which hours might suit your business best.

Prove you are eligible to work within the UK

Part of the premises licence application process will require you to prove that you are eligible to work in the UK, and you may be subject to an immigration status check.

Acquire DPS consent

When applying for your premises licence, you will need to ensure that you have a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS), and that you have their consent when filling out the application.

Your DPS will likely be someone who spends a lot of time at the business, such as a manager, and will also be the holder of the second licence required for selling alcohol, the Personal Licence. Be sure that they are willing to handle communications around licensing as and when they arise.

Consider that if you are preparing a premises licence for an entire holiday park, that you may have more than one DPS to consider.

Review the plan of your Holiday Park or Caravan Park premises

Caravan parks and holiday parks can be incredibly large spaces, with many different considerations. As such you should consider every single aspect of your park, and mark where licensable activities take place as well as where potential issues are. Be aware this part of the application is often highly contested.

Be sure to consider the following elements when filling out the plan of your premises:

  • What are the boundaries of your Holiday or Caravan Park property? Make sure to be highly accurate with your boundaries, it is vitally important. This is especially true if your business is in a potentially dangerous location, for instance a sea overlook.
  • Are there any locations where transactions take place? For example, where a customer may check in or make other purchases? If the responsibility for these premises falls under your jurisdiction, be sure to include these locations.
  • Where are the exits and entrances to your property/properties located? Are customers restricted to using only those entrances and exits?
  • Are the public toilets on your property, or are toilets only accessible in customer residences and public amenities?
  • Where are the staircases and steps located around your premises? Be sure to include all staircases and steps for all locations you are responsible for, including any steps around and inside customer residences.
  • Do you have fire escapes and assembly points across your premises? 
  • Are there any other licensable activities that take place? For instance a public stages that hosts performers.
  • Are there any raised sections across your premises?
  • Where are the raised sections both inside and outside on your premises?
  • If there are any licensable activities on your premises, do you have relevant safety equipment? And where is it located?
  • Consider any other licensable activities that may take place across your premises.

Competitive socialising activities

If your Holiday Park includes locations for Competitive Socialising, consider also reviewing our Licensing for Competitive Socialising Venues page. This page looks at the licences you will need for these premises types, as well as important elements of your premises licence that you will need to consider.

Gaming and Gambling Licences

If you plan to have Gaming or Gambling activities in your Holiday or Caravan park, and any premises within that that fall under your jurisdiction, you must acquire the correct licences. Gaming and Gambling Licences for premises like FECs, UFECs, pubs, and any other location that gaming machines are found, are highly important, and including them within your premises licence application is vital. 

Acquiring a Bingo Licence

Be aware that when acquiring your Bingo licence, Bingo falls into two categories:

  • Non-commercial Bingo is permissible without a licence from the Gambling Commission, subject to certain restrictions on stakes and prizes.  
  • ‘High Turnover Bingo’, which does require licences from the Gambling Commission and Local Authority, is defined as Bingo where total stakes and prizes for the game exceed £2,000 in a 7 day period. ‘High Turnover Bingo’ can be undertaken as a commercial activity, with the correct licences.  

When acquiring your Bingo licence, it is always worth getting expert advice on your specific requirements in each instance. To speak to one of our licensing experts, simply email, call, or contact us today, and we’ll help you navigate any potential pitfalls around Bingo.

Gaming Machines

Most common gaming machines found in pubs fall under category C, and as a premises licence holder, you are entitled to up to two of these machines once the fee and proper notice has been given to your local authority. This act is called a Licensed Premises Notification (LPN), and is mandatory.

If you apply for a Licensed Premises Gaming Machine Permit, you may install more machines, or machines with a higher jackpot value than £100, depending on the stipulations of your licence.

View our Gaming Machine Categories page for more information on how each category works.

UFECs and FECs

You should also take into account licensing considerations for your UFECs (Unlicensed Family Entertainment Centres) and FECs (Family Entertainment Centres), if you plan on having them within your premises.

UFECS - You must acquire a permit for your UFECs from your local licensing authority. These permits must be kept on the property, and have a 10 year lifespan unless surrendered earlier.

UFEC permits only enable the owner to make Category D Machines available on the premises, and the premises owner (arcade operator) is not required to have a Gambling Commission operating licence. 

If you choose to go down this route though, you must ensure that the supplier of the machines does have Gambling Commission operating licence. Use the Gambling Commission licence register to check your supplier.

FECs - You must acquire a permit from both your local authority and the Gambling Commission for any Family Entertainment Centres, which are entitled to use category C and category D machines on their premises. 

You must also ensure that the supplier of these machines is fully licensed under the Gambling Commission.

Holiday and Caravan Park owners should consider that generally UFECs and FECs are considered premises within themselves, and generally licences are not permitted to extend to the entire area.

When reviewing your premises plan, ensure that gaming machines within a UFEC or FEC premises are not placed in corridors or walkways for use.

You should also consider the supervision of any gaming machines on your premises, and ensure that there are staff dedicated to the FEC or UFEC area. This will also help you in maintaining your licensing objectives or protecting children and vulnerable people.

For more information on Betting and Gaming, view our pages on acquiring an Operating Licence, as well our pages on Gaming Machines and Gambling in Pubs. If you require further information, be sure to call, email or contact our team today.

Get expert premises licence advice for your holiday and caravan parks

Consider reaching out to a member of our licensing team if you are in the process of applying for or updating your premises licence. We can provide representation if required, as well as expert guidance and advice on common issues such as:

Meeting the standards of Local Licensing Committee Review

Premises licence applications for holiday and caravan park premises can present greater challenges than others, due to the wide range of licensable activities that may take place in them. 

Whether your park provides a host of amenities or is simply a holiday home for your customers, your premises licence will need to be considered by a Local Licensing Committee. The Committee may make suggestions that counter your ideal premises, or simply refuse your application outright.

Elements missing from the application

Holiday Parks often run events throughout the year to entertain guests. With this in mind, it can be very easy to miss licensable activities from your premises licence application. If you deviate from your licence without reviewing and updating it, you could end up facing penalties or even having your licence revoked.

Responsible Authorities

While applying for a premises licence, applicants should also consider how Responsible Authorities will view their Holiday or Caravan Park premises. These Responsible Authorities may include the Police, Environment Health, and the Fire Office, and each may make suggestions that counter how you want to run your business.

John Gaunt & Partners are on hand to help you with any of the above issues. Our team specialises in licensing law, and has experience licensing premises across a range of sectors in the UK. Reach out to our team today by contact form, email, or telephone, and we’ll help you make the most of your licences.

If you require representation when your application goes to the Local Licensing Committee, or if changes are suggested by the Responsible Authorities, John Gaunt & Partners can provide support here too. We will represent you and your business, and provide you with the best possible chance of having your licence accepted.

2. Personal Licence

The second licence that Holiday and Caravan Parks require to sell alcohol is a Personal Licence. This licence is usually held by your DPS, and potentially other team members as well, and allows them to sell and authorise other team members to sell alcohol to customers on that premises. 

Bear in mind that Holiday Park premises may have more than one location to sell alcohol, and as such you will need a Personal Licence for each location, if they fall under your responsibility.

How do I apply for a personal licence?

If you or a member of your team needs to apply for a personal licence, you should consider these points during the application process:

  • Personal Licence applicants must pass a DBS check
  • Personal Licence applicants must not have forfeited a Personal Licence with the past 5 years
  • Personal Licence applicants must have an accreditation like an APLH, that proves they can hold a Personal Licence

You can complete an APLH course online through John Gaunt & Partners, which will act as your accreditation for your Personal Licence application.

If you are based in Scotland and wish to acquire a Personal Licence, we also provide the necessary qualifications through our SCPLH and SCPLH Combined courses.

As Holiday and Caravan Parks may host a range of business types, owners should also be aware of the Allergen Awareness, Customer Service, and Food Safety e-learning courses also available through the John Gaunt & Partners website.

[CTA] View our Training Courses today

3. Register as a food business

If you are planning to sell food on your premises you will need to register as a food business, and any other independent businesses that sell food on your premises will need to register also.

When registering, look towards the local authority to your premises for further information. If you are unsure of the local authority for your premises, use the local council finder to find out more.

If you do plan to sell food on your premises, please be aware that it is recommended you register as a food business at least 28 days before opening.

Each local authority website has their own form to complete for food business registration, but if you require any assistance with these forms, do not hesitate to reach out to John Gaunt & Partners today.

4. Marriage Licences

Holiday Parks in particular may wish to enhance their customer experience by allowing them to get married on the site. To do this, you will need to register your premises with your local authority.

A few elements to consider when registering your premises:

  • Your location must be regularly open to members of the public.
  • Open air venues are highly unlikely to be approved.
  • The premises must be a permanent structure, although approval may be given to permanently moored boats that are open to the public.

5. Spa, Massage, and Special Treatment Licences

Holiday Parks may also wish to include a Spa, Massage Parlour, or Special Treatment premises within their boundaries. If so, premises owners should consider that a massage and special treatment licence may be required if the Local Authority opted in to licence these activities, which may include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Body massage
  • Chiropody
  • Electric treatment
  • Herbal baths
  • Jacuzzis
  • Light treatment such as intense pulse light
  • Manicure
  • Saunas
  • Solaria/sunbeds
  • Therapeutic spa baths

Alongside the premises needing to be licensed, you also need to assure that any therapists working on the premises are also registered to provide treatment through the local authority. 

You may also wish to check the qualifications and experience of the therapist yourself. This is a wise idea, and ensures that they fit the needs of your premises. You can also rest assured, though, that the therapist will have also undertaken a thorough background check to become licensed by the local authority.

Please also be aware that spas, massage parlours and treatment facilities are annually checked by the local authorities to ensure that they adhere to health and safety requirements.

6. Become a registered company

Depending on how you approach your Holiday or Caravan Park, you may have to register one or more businesses on Companies House, which is standard practice for the UK.

If you are looking to run your park as a sole trader, you do not need to register through Companies House, but you will need to register with HMRC.

7. Insurance for your business

Holiday and Caravan parks can cover a lot of ground, and as such there are more risks to consider. With this in mind, we have collected a range of insurances that you should consider as you open your property:

  • Public Liability Cover Insurance
  • Employers Liability Insurance
  • Loss of Licence Insurance
  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Contents Insurance
  • Personal Accident Insurance

This list is a starting point for insurances, and may not cover every element of your holiday park. When considering insurances, think about every area of your premises carefully to ensure you are properly covered.

8. Music licence

Music licences are absolutely necessary if you plan to open any kind of premises that plays recorded music, whether it be via Spotify, CD or Vinyl, music channel, radio, or other means.

This licence is also required for stages with live music, which is a common feature at Holiday Parks.

To acquire your licence, visit the PPL PRS website.

How much does Holiday Park and Caravan Park licensing cost?

The overall sum of your licensing costs come down to how extensive your holiday park premises offering is, and if you are responsible for each individual premises within your park, or if they are separate.

Hare are some of the costs you should factor into your budget:

Holiday and Caravan Park Premises Licence Cost

Your Premises Licence application fee will cost between £100 to £1905, depending upon the rateable value of the premises. The fee is payable to the local authority.

During the application period, you will be required to advertise your application on the premises and through the local press. John Gaunt & Partner’s press agent is available to help any client advertise through the local press, and can secure discounted rates.

Fees may differ depending on which approach you take to your Holiday or Caravan Park business licence. Nonetheless, our Premises Licence Costs page may provide more information. 

You can also get in touch with a member of our team today, who will be able to cost up a licence for you once they understand the exact requirements of your business.

Personal Licence Cost

Consider that for each Personal Licence you purchase, you will need to pay £37 to cover the application fee with your local authority. You will also need to pay £36+VAT for each DBS check.

APLH Training is also a cost worth considering. At John Gaunt & Partners, we provide a one-stop-shop APLH Course, Exam and Personal Licence option to clients. Through this option, applicants can go through the APLH training, DBS check, and application submission, with the aid of John Gaunt & Partners throughout. This method streamlines the entire process, helping you to acquire your licences much quicker.

Marriage and Special Treatment Licence Costs

The application fees for new Special Treatment Licences or marriage certificates vary from local authority area to local authority area, so it is worth reaching out directly to your local authority to confirm both licence application costs.

Marriage Licences for venues in particular are dependent upon the specific requirements laid out by different authorities, so be sure to understand exactly what your local authority requires when applying for your licence.

Marriage and Special Treatment Licence Renewals

A marriage licence certificate is on average issued for 3 years but depends on the local authority.

If a special treatment licence is required it will need to be renewed yearly. 

Do you need further advice or legal representation for your Holiday or Caravan Park Licence?

Holiday or Caravan park licensing can be complex. There are many things to consider, from where customers stay, to any amenities on site, to no-access zones.

If you need support in acquiring your licences, get in touch with us today. A member of our team can be reached through our contact form, email, or telephone.