The Caravan Act – Everything you need to know

Introduction to the Caravan Act

With NAPC using a dual application approach to our planning applications, the Caravan Act will be a term that will come up. NAPC’s planning success rate stands at 93%,  however, the dual application approach provides two chances of success. In addition,  if the Certificate of Lawfulness (mobile home application)  is likely to be approved this provides a fallback position, which is a weighty material consideration in the determination of the annexe application.

So what is the Caravan Sites Act 1968?

‘An Act to restrict the eviction from caravan sites of occupiers of caravans and make other provision for the benefit of such occupiers; to secure the establishment of such sites by local authorities for the use of gipsies and other persons of nomadic habit, and control in certain areas the unauthorised occupation of land by such persons; to amend the definition of “caravan” in Part I of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

Most importantly to note, the act clearly defines what constitutes a caravan or mobile home (section 13) Source

The definition of a caravan or Mobile Home (Section 13)

A caravan is a structure that is designed for human residence and can be transported by road. If a structure is permanently fixed to the ground, for example, a brick structure, then it cannot be classed as a caravan.

Therefore looking at the statement above, a Granny Annexe can easily be defined as a mobile home it would just need to undergo certain tests and abide by size regulations.

Specifications for The Caravan Act

Maximum Dimensions for a Granny Annexe Allowed Under the Act are:

Less than

-20m in Length (exclusive of any drawbar)

– 6.8m in Width

– 3.05m in Height (when measured from internal floor to internal ceiling)

Mobility Test

The granny annexe must be capable of being moved from one place to another, whether towed or transported on a motor vehicle/trailer.

To meet the criteria of a mobile home -according to the Caravan Act – the mobile home should consist of two parts. The NAPC submits applications every month and will provide justification for the installation of a mobile home in your garden. We will do this by applying for a certificate of Lawfulness, alongside a full householder application.


A mobile home must be in two parts for it to qualify as a mobile home under the Caravan Act, and can be assembled on-site using bolts, clamps, and other tools. NAPC submits several applications every month justifying mobile home installations. You can trust that we are the experts when it comes to mobile home planning.

Got a question?

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Further reading

For more blogs on this topic, keep reading. Also find out more on the Planning Portal website here.

Does using your annexe as an Airbnb require planning permission?

Do I need planning permission for my Garden Room?

What is curtilage?


Get an answer quicker with a Feasibility Study

A one-off Feasibility Study (from £99) will equip you with crucial planning insight about the area you’re planning to site your Annexe or Garden Room. So if you pursue your application, you have the best chance of success. 

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Annexes are now a popular addition to many family homes to provide additional accommodation.

Mobile Home

NAPC provide a service to help you establish whether your mobile home meets the definition of a caravan and can apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness

Garden Room

Looking to install a garden room at your property? Unsure about planning permission or building regulations for garden rooms?

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