CARAVAN residents and Skegness town councillors have united in their support of permitting all-year-round occupancy at static home holiday parks.
More than 30 caravan owners, predominantly from Beacon Park Home Village, attended Skegness’s Annual Town Meeting on Wednesday to raise their concerns on the subject with council members.
Repeated condemnations were unleashed against current license agreements which require park occupants to vacate their caravans for a number of months each winter.
One disgruntled park resident said: “A lot of residents pay council tax but don’t get the benefits - if we didn’t have to go off for two months of the year we could spend our money in the town and you wouldn’t get this Draconian thing where people can only go on holiday during the summer.”
Skegness Mayor at the time, Coun Steve Kirk, explained that the town council’s planning committee had supported two caravan park applications to extend their season only for them to be refused by East Lindsey District Council.
He said: “I agree with you entirely and I think other councillors whole-heartedly agree with you too - we felt it would benefit the town if it has all-year-round occupancy.”
When asked why the applications had been refused, Coun Mark Anderson, who has since been appointed Mayor, explained it was down to a 30-year-old law and the Environment Agency’s recommendations to protect ‘vulnerable’ properties from sea erosion.
He also expressed his desire to allow caravan park residents to remain in town all-year-round as a boost to the town’s economy and suggested councillors and static home owners ‘stand collectively on this issue and lobby our MP’.
Coun Anderson’s remarks about the Environment Agency failed to placate several caravan residents who claimed to know of other holiday parks in Hornsey which are ‘disappearing through erosions of the cliffs but still have an all-year license.’
“It’s not across the board, it seems the Environment Agency has something against Skegness,” they said.
And in Skegness itself, park residents claimed exemptions from the license had been granted to enable residents to live on site all year due to ‘ill health’
Several caravan owners asked whether the council would support them in a sit in or a protest to resolve the issue, but were told that no criminal activity would be condoned.
However, Coun Kirk did recommend organising a meeting with all of the responsible agencies and organisations which councillors could support.