Caravan fury: Man forced to leave holiday park after 25 years as ‘mobile home too old’
Steven Richardson from Leeds has kept caravans at the Beachcomber Holiday Park in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, for 25 years. But the 56-year-old claims he has been forced to leave because he was told that, at almost 15 years, his static home there is past it.
Mr Richardson told Grimsby Live: “I have been here for 25 years, owning four different caravans and spending a small fortune with the resort.
“When we bought our current caravan, we were told we could keep it on the site as long as cleanliness was maintained and it was tidy.”
He claims he was not told that after 15 years from the date of construction, caravans may be sold elsewhere or for scrap.
In March, he was told he would not have his caravan renewed and his tenancy would run out in April next year.
In a statement, Away Resorts, which operates Beachcomber Holiday Park, said Mr Richardson’s licence agreement tenure period expires in early 2022 and he has decided to sell his home to a trader.
Mr Richardson said he originally bought the caravan for £18,000, but had to sell it for £2,000 even though he believes it is worth at least £8,000 to £9,000.
He added that while the caravan is not even 50 yards from the holiday park’s entrance, he still has to pay a £400 disconnection fee even though it is the owner of the park which wants it removed.
He complained: “If I wanted to leave I would understand paying the fee, but they’re the ones kicking me off, it’s just wrong.
Away Resorts maintains that, at the end of a tenure period, caravan owners have the option to part exchange the holiday home and be issued with a new 15-year licence agreement or move the caravan to another site or sell to a trader.
Its statement adds: “The owners are informed that there will be a disconnection fee when they sign the licence agreement at the start of the contract.
“This fee consists of disconnecting elements of the caravan, such as plumbing, and moving the caravan from its pitch.”
It comes after a delay by the Driver and Vehicle Standard’s Agency (DVSA) to planned new caravan rules was described as a “nightmare” which will leave owners in a “no man’s land”.
New towing rules were due to be introduced on Monday, but they were delayed at the last minute by the DVSA.
The new rules would have allowed drivers who passed their driving test after January 1, 1997 to tow heavier weights – including larger caravans and motorhomes – while behind the wheel.
Shane Malpass, spokesman for We Buy Any Motorcaravan, said dealerships were in “limbo” and warned dozens of owners had already paid deposits for large caravans with dealers now unsure whether or not to offer refunds.
Mr Malpass, speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, said: “It is a bit of a nightmare.
“The dealers had got prepared, they had put through all the servicing, took all the money, the deposits, everything really.
“To be told three or four days before just puts them in a right limbo for what they can do with the caravan.
“Do they need to refund the customers? Do they need to hold them?”