In May 1999 the European Parliament passed a law making the siting of mobile homes and static caravans on private land not require planning permission, subject to certain conditions.
The law says that a mobile home or static caravan (referred to as ‘a non-attached structure’) may be sited without the need for planning permission if:
1) it is not registered as where you live (known as ‘your principal place of residence’).
2) it is for private use and not for any business purpose (known as ‘a leisure pursuit’).
3) it is not cited in a National Park or A.O.N.B. (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) or another equivalent place.
4) it is not sited close to a militarily sensitive area.
5) there are no more than 5 mobile homes or static caravans on any one property.
In other words, as long as you technically live somewhere else (i.e. have yourself registered at another address) and don’t run a business from it you could put a mobile home or static caravan in your back garden or on private land and spend a lot of time there!
This applies to the whole EU, however some countries will make it difficult to connect up to services or try and throw up various other spurious restrictions e.g. parts of southern France claim they are a fire hazard, Portugal tries to say that agricultural land must be used for that purpose and not have a mobile home or static caravan on it. There can be ways around these problems – please contact me for further details.
However, in the UK, we have never heard of any instance of these laws not being upheld except where there is a pre-existing situation.