How to become a Motorhome Stopover
So, you would like to provide facilities for motorhomes to stop over on your land and want to know how to go about it, or you already accept motorhomes on an unofficial basis, and you want to be added to our listing?
We are always looking for stopover sites to add to our stopover listings, however we do try to keep our listing to approved sites only, as there are certain regulations (site licences and planning consent) for places that want to allow more than the occasional motorhome or caravan to stay overnight. See below for a resume of the legislation regarding Stopovers.
As noted in our resume of the legislation, some exemptions to the regulations are allowed, you have probably seen pubs in our listing which are part of the Nightstop Scheme, these have been granted an Exemption Certificate which allows them to accept up to 5 motorhomes at any time. The Nightstop Scheme is not restricted to pubs alone, sports grounds and social clubs, etc. can apply too. There are no special requirements, providing that you have enough space for a few motorhomes to park of course! It is usual, but not essential, for there to be access to an outside tap for fresh water and also somewhere to empty chemical toilets. You can send us your details via our contact form and we will pass them on, or you can email them to The Nightstop Scheme directly.
There are other organisations that can issue Exemption Certificates but most of them restrict the use of their approved locations to their own members. The whole point of motorhome stopovers is that they should be open to all, we do not include any 'members only' locations in our listings.
Having an Exemption Certificate means that there is no need for a site licence and planning permission to be granted by the local authority, anyone operating a stopover site without an Exemption Certificate, or local authority approval, may find themselves in trouble with their local authority for operating a 'caravan site' without the proper consents.
It is our opinion that getting an Exemption Certificate issued by the Nightstop Scheme is currently the best way of setting up a stopover for motorhomes on privately owned land.
For local authority controlled land there is no need for an Exemption Certificate as this land is exempted from the legislation already. All that's needed is for the local authority to give permission for motorhomes to stay overnight, without imposing restrictions on eating, sleeping, cooking, etc. In some cases planning consent may be required. Any local authority considering setting up facilities for motorhomes would be well advised to read this excellent article on constructing a motorhome stopover.
It is certainly possible for private landowners to set up a stopover for motorhomes without applying for an Exemption Certificate, in this case it is necessary to apply for a site licence and planning consent from the local authority. You would need to comply with their requirements, with luck they may be sympathetic to your plans! One advantage of taking this route is that, depending on the size of the land you have available, it might be possible to accommodate more than 5 motorhomes at any one time.
Of course it may be that you already have an Exemption Certificate, or are otherwise licenced, in which case please let us know the details! If not, and you apply to the Nightstop Scheme, please let us know how you get on and as soon as you get approved we'll add you to our listing.
Legislation regarding Stopovers
In law, at least as regards the places where they may be stationed for the purposes of human habitation, motorhomes are included within the definition of a 'caravan' . The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act (1960), states that a caravan is defined as:
" ... any structure designed or adapted for human habitation which is capable of being moved from one place to another (whether by being towed, or by being transported on a motor vehicle or trailer) and any motor vehicle so designed or adapted ..."
The Act introduced the licencing of caravan sites, and defines a 'caravan site' as " ... land on which a caravan is stationed for the purposes of human habitation and land which is used in conjunction with land on which a caravan is so stationed." Certain exemptions are allowed from the licencing requirements of the Act, these include:
" ... the use of land as a caravan site if the use is incidental to the
enjoyment as such of a dwellinghouse within the curtilage of which the land
" ... the use of land as a caravan site by a person travelling with a caravan
who brings the caravan on to the land for a period which includes not more than
" ... land as respects which there is in force a certificate issued under
this paragraph by an exempted organisation if not more than five caravans are
at the time stationed for the purposes of human habitation on the land to which
the certificate relates.
" ... land occupied by the local authority in whose area the land is situated."
The full text of The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act (1960) is here.
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