Skip to content

Tented camping sites

If you want to use your land as a tented camping site you will only normally require planning permission should you wish to operate for over 28 days in any calendar year, unless the site is occupied by a recreational organisation. A licence is not normally required for short-term use of less than 28 days.  More information about this can be found in our exemption guide.

However, in addition to any planning permission which may be required above, the Public Health Act 1936 states that a site requires a tent licence from the council if it is operating:

  • for more than 42 days consecutively or
  • 60 days in total in any 12 consecutive months

Please note the provisions under Section 269 Public Health Act 1936 apply solely to tents. Any campervans/caravans onsite may require a caravan site licence.


Applications for site licences are made to the local authority in the area the land is situated. Before you apply for a licence, you should check that you have the necessary planning permission. The local authority will only issue a licence for a new site after it has received the necessary planning permission and a completed application for a site licence.

Once satisfied all the correct documentation has been provided, the local authority will determine your tent licence application within four weeks from the their receipt of your application.

If approved, you will be provided with a licence and any relevant conditions - information about conditions can be found in our licence conditions for tent site pages. Alternatively should your application be refused, full reasons for this decision will be provided.

Anyone wishing to apply for a licence can apply online below or by using a copy of our application form.

Apply for a campsite licence online (tents only)


There is no fee for a tent licence application.

Tent site licence conditions

For the purpose of regulating the use of tented camping sites in the district, the licence will include various conditions that are designed to protect people using the site.

Conditions attached will be in relation to the use of the land and the use of moveable dwellings. Conditions will include reference to:

  • the number and classes of moveable dwellings which may be kept on the land at the same time
  • the space to be kept free between any two such dwellings
  • the provisions of adequate water supply
  • the provisions of satisfactory sanitary conditions

An example of our current licensing conditions can be found on our licence conditions for tent site pages.


If you are aggrieved by the refusal of a licence, or by any condition attached to your licence, you may appeal the Council’s decision. Appeals should be made to North and East Devon Magistrate’s Court, Civic Centre, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 1DX.

Fire Precautions

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the RRO) applies to caravan and camping sites.  The RRO replaces some fire related standards that are in current site licensing conditions. The local fire and rescue authority, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue as our local fire authority are the main enforcers of the RRO, however, our inspectors inspectors are still required to check that site owners are complying with the obligations under it. In particular, site owners must carry out a fire risk assessment and make this available to the inspectors.

The Government website Fire Safety Law and Guidance Documents for Business contains a range of helpful information for businesses on fire safety and the requirements of the RRO.

A risk assessment is required under the Fire Reform Order 2005. Further guidance and examples of risk assessments can be found on the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service website.

Keeping us informed

You should notify us immediately in the event of any changes which may affect the validity of the site licence in order that the licence may be changed accordingly. 

If the site is to be sold or transferred to another person or named body, a new licence will need to be prepared together with the current licence conditions, which will be forwarded to the new 'Licensee'. A site inspection may also take place at this time.

Public registers

Tent only sites register