What is a Certificated Site?
Certificated Sites can be open all year round, or you can specify a camping season such as March to October for example, and can specify whether you require advanced booking at the site or not.
It’s at your discretion what kind of site you wish to provide, whether it be a basic hideaway or a fully facilitated family friendly set-up! You can be tent-only, caravan-only, or accept all units….just as long as you meet the basic requirements; the rest is up to you!
How to set up a Certificated Site
So what are the 'Basic Requirements'?
In terms of your land, we’ll need:
Before you are issued with a Certificate, we’ll need you to provide (within 100 metres of the camping area, and not across any roads):
What are the costs involved?
Set-up Costs: The costs you will incur are those involved with setting up the site and maintaining it. It’s always difficult to give an actual figure as much of the cost will depend on how much work you are able to do yourself, and what facilities you already have in place. Factors such as already having a water supply to the field and being able to dig the hole for the CDP yourself will all bring costs down.
Based on the responses of a recent questionnaire sent out to our current CS owners, the largest percentage of owners stated that the set-up costs were approximately £3000, however they also stated that they felt these costs were reasonable. If you consider that you could be operating your site for 10 or 20 years plus, the initial outlay is minimal.
You will be able to get a better idea of how much your set-up costs are likely to be once a Site Officer has been out and assessed the land; they’ll be able to tell what work needs to be done to get the site ready for certification before any work actually starts.
Maintenance Costs: If your water is not mains supplied (well or spring water for example) then you will need to have this tested on an annual basis. Likewise if you provide electric hook-up points, these will also need an annual test, together with the proof of a current Public Liability Insurance certificate – copies of these documents need to be forwarded to HQ on expiry of the old ones – this can be done by email or post.
You will also need to ensure that your CDP is emptied when at capacity. We recommend a 600 gallon tank and anticipate that this size unit would need to be emptied once, maybe twice, a year. This will obviously depend on how busy your site is, but we would suggest being mindful that campers have somewhere to empty their grey water (dirty washing-up water for example) so that they don’t use your CDP and fill this up unnecessarily.
Other than these costs, you may have some regular duties such as mowing the grass and the odd DIY task that you may well be able to do yourself at little, or no, cost.
What do I get out of it?
Being located in an area where there are lots of tourist attractions or being in a holiday hot-spot will help to attract your campers, but similarly we also have a large member base who want to be tucked out of the way in a secluded, hideaway paradise!
Drawing from the recent questionnaire of CS owners, they told us that the main reasons they enjoyed running their Certificated Site was the increased revenue it brings and the social aspect of it all; meeting people and making new friends, sharing their surroundings and welcoming repeat customers.
How much should I charge?
We ask you to provide us with your site fees for 1 unit per night, accommodating up to 2 adults and 2 children in high season. Many people wonder whether they should charge a tent less than a caravan, for example but in practice we find that its usually best to have a standard pitch fee (regardless of unit type) as you may have a camper with a 6-berth tent wanting an electric hook-up and in the next pitch have a 2-berth caravan with no electricity requirements. Alternatively, you can provide us with a price range to cover all eventualities. Remember that these kind of details can be changed at any time by contacting us – these amendments will show up almost immediately on our website but will have to wait until the next print of our SiteSeeker book to appear in the directory.
Currently, the average cost for a pitch without electric hook-up, (on a basic site) is approximately £8 per night, and with electric is £12 per night. However, for a site with more facilities and attractions, the pitch fee can be considerably more.
Where's the catch?
It’s not often you get something for free these days, and we understand that you might be dubious about this, but we promise that none of our services will cost you a penny, nor will we take any of your site fees from you!
So, the ‘catch’….? Well, we ask that you love and look after your site and our members. We ask that you abide by the site rules set out to protect you, your campers and the surrounding community, and we ask that you keep us informed of any changes so that we have the most up to date records possible.
How long does it take? What's the process?
1. We acknowledge the receipt of your application and check that you have given us all the information we’ve asked for. We check the address of the site using the postcode and directions provided. If the site falls within a 5 mile radius of any of our other sites we call this a ‘close proximity’. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we can’t accept your application; it just means that we need to ensure that the area can take another site by checking attendance figures and tourism interest etc.
2. If your application isn’t within close proximity of any other site, then we can initially proceed. Please note that at this stage we are still unable to guarantee that we can issue a certificate – this will only happen once the consultation process is complete. We’ll give your application a unique reference which will become your site number – this is what we will use to recognise you from now on.
3. We will then send out 3 letters; The first is to you to let you know that we are initially proceeding and the next is to the local authority informing them of our intention to set up a Certificated Site in this location (including any accompanying maps and plans) to consider their views before proceeding with the application. We give the local authority 28 days to respond regarding any Planning restrictions, or ‘Article 4 Directions’ that may stop us from proceeding any further. The chances are that you would know if your land fell within an Article 4 as the planning restrictions are fairly severe, but it is at this stage that it would be confirmed to us by the local authority.
The last letter we send out is to our Site Development Officer giving details of your application and asking them to contact you directly to make a convenient appointment. This initial assessment will involve our Officer completing a report on the potential suitability of the land to become a Certificated Site considering aspects such as the size and lay of the land, the approach and access, and location. They will look at these things as an experienced caravanner and it is this information that helps us make a decision whether we feel the site would be a viable prospect. One other job the Officer will undertake is to note whether there are any nearby or over-looking properties that may be affected by the application. In this case, the Officer will hand deliver letters to these properties, giving a brief explanation of our proposal to establish a campsite in this location and ask them to write to us at Head Quarters within 28 days if they have any comments or concerns. We will respond to any letters we receive and try to resolve any issues if and when they occur. Although we notify your neighbours, we do often find that it is best practice to go and speak to them about your intentions first. A lot of concern stems from people not understanding the proposal and imagining a large commercial site suddenly appearing next door, and not a small quiet site regulated by the Club for use by our members only – however, this is at your discretion. Once the initial assessment has been carried out and the deadlines have subsequently passed for the local authority and any neighbours (if applicable – if there are no neighbours then this deadline is obviously by-passed), if there are no unresolved issues, we can move on to the next stage.
4. We use the information provided by the Site Officer for the ‘work to be done’ letter. This letter will tell you what work will need to be carried out in order to achieve certification including the installation of a chemical disposal point and other basic requirements. We do not recommend undertaking any work until you receive this letter as we don’t want you to go to any unnecessary expense if, for whatever reason, we are unable to continue with the application. We ask that you complete the work listed within 6 months of the date of the letter. Should you find that your site is ready for its final inspection before the 6 months is up, just let us know either by email or post our Site Officer will contact you to conduct the last development visit.
5. As with the initial assessment, the Site Officer will contact you directly to arrange a convenient appointment to carry out the final inspection. They will complete a report to confirm that all work required has been carried out, list all of the facilities / amenities available both on site and within a mile (We use this information to build your site entry for our SiteSeeker book and also online), and sign off ready for certification which when received, means you can start accepting campers! Upon certification, your site entry will go live on our website almost immediately, you’ll also be added to the list of ‘New Sites’ both online and in our monthly magazine. Your entry will appear in the next available edition of our SiteSeeker book.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Certificated Site?
The Camping and Caravanning Club, established in 1901, is permitted by Natural England, The Scottish Government, The Welsh Assembly and The Northern Ireland Government to issue Certificates to landowners who wish to set up small campsites. The Club holds a Certificate of Exemption under Section 269 (6) of the 1936 Public Health Act, as well as Section 2 of the First Schedule to the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, which permits the Club to establish small campsites without the need to obtain planning permission.
A Certificated Site, or CS as we refer to them, are small, privately run campsites operated exclusively for members of the Club. CSs can take a maximum of five caravans or motorhomes at any one time for up to 28 consecutive days, allowing space of six metres between each unit. If space permits, the site can also accept a maximum of ten tents, unless express permission has been granted by the Club to accommodate more.
To set up a site, the landowner must have a minimum of half an acre of land, provide safe access to and from the site, a dustbin that’s regularly emptied, a drinking water supply and a chemical disposal point (a facility for the campers to empty their chemical toilets). The site will be inspected annually by the Club to ensure that the site meets our expectations.
There are many different reasons why landowners choose to look into having their own Certificated Sites, whether it’s for extra income, or just the pleasure of meeting new people, making friends, or sharing the beautiful surroundings with others.
Should the application be successful, the site would be occupied by responsible members of the Club, who are bound by our code of conduct to respect the surrounding environment, including wildlife and nearby residents.
Is there a consultation period?
Our local Site Officer will hand deliver a letter informing potentially directly affected residents of the proposed campsite. If you have any comments regarding the establishment of this site, please write to the Exempted Camping Department at the following address, or via email, stating the site reference number as indicated on the letter received, and within 28 days of the date at the top of the letter, clearly detailing your concerns.
Please be assured that your comments will be given serious consideration during the application process.
Exempted Camping Department
The Camping and Caravanning Club
Tel: 024 7647 5198