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Practice Note 7: Appendix 2 - Definition of Caravan

A caravan is defined in section 66(7) of the LGFA 1988 by reference to Part I of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960. That Act, as amended, by S.13 of The Caravan Sites Act 1968, provides that:

“Caravan” means 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, but does not include:-

(1) any railway rolling stock which is for the time being on rails forming part of a railway system, or

(2) any tent, or

(3) a structure designed or adapted for human habitation which:

(a) is composed of not more than two sections separately constructed and designed to be assembled on a site by means of bolts, clamps or other devices; and

(b) is, when assembled, physically capable of being moved by road from one place to another (whether by being towed or by being transported on a motor vehicle or trailer),

if its dimensions when assembled exceed any of the prescribed limits.

Prescribed size limits:

Pre 01/10/ 2006:

Length excluding drawbar 60 feet (18.288 metres), width 20 feet (6.096 metres), internal height 10 feet (3.048 metres)

Post 01/10/06 : (SI 2006 2374)

Length excluding drawbar 20 metres length, 6.8 metres width and 3.05 metres internal height.

A structure falling within heads 3(a) and 3(b) above is not, however, treated as not being a caravan for those purposes by reason only that it cannot be lawfully be so moved on a highway when assembled.

Comment: The legislation must be read carefully as it is easy to misunderstand. In particular it must be noted that a structure defined under (3)(a)&(b) is only excluded if it exceeds the size limits. Otherwise it will qualify as a caravan.

Further guidance and interpretation of the requirements of these statutory provisions can be obtained from reading the decision of the Lands Tribunal in Atkinson ( VO) v Foster and Others 1996 RA 249

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