Caravanners on a site at Ingoidmells are to stage a protest today over a new policy that they argue would make it hard for them to afford to stay long-term.
They plan to gather outside the Kingfisher office in Sea Lane this morning demanding clarification on proposals by site owners East Lindsey District Council to extend the current one year licence but place a 15-year limit on the private sale of vans on site and call for replacement over that age.
The principle behind the changes is to improve the overall quality of the parkEast Lindsey District Council
An online i-petition launched by caravan owners on Kingfisher has already attracted hundreds of signatures – and is supported by the caravanners on the site protesting today.
It asks East Lindsey District Council to reconsider its proposal and claims there has been no consultation with caravanners to give them a ‘fair hearing’.
The changes would include:
l No private sales of caravans in excess of 15 years old with effect from 01/06/17.
l Private sale transfer fee to be increased from £1815 to £2100 with effect from 01/06/17.
l No vans in excess of 10 years old to be brought onto the park with effect from 01/06/17.
l The late payment fee of £50 to be increased to £100 but fee not applicable until the 1 st March of each year.
Donna Podmore, of the Kingfisher Caravan Owners’ Forum, told the Skegness Standard in a recent article that she has six or seven vans on the site - some of them costing £60,000.
She said: “People can’t afford that again when the vans are 15 years old.
“Most people spend a lot of money upgrading them - putting in double glazing and renewing upholstery – but this policy gives them no incentive to do so. If they sold them off site they wouldn’t get as much for them.
“If it wasn’t for the caravanners who look after their vans, it wouldn’t be the site it is today.”
Sharon Bolger, whose caravan is 15 years old, has been able to negotiate an extension on her one-year licence but says there were many worried caravanners.
She said: “A good caravan costs £60,000 and there are many elderly people on here who can’t afford to buy another one. “When people buy a caravan they think it’s for life. So long as it is in good condition and certificates are up to date it should be.”
East Lindsey District Council told the Standard: “At present caravan owners on the site are granted one year licences, these are renewed each year. Under the new arrangements, the council will be offering multi-year licences which from an owner’s perspective provides greater certainty and will enable owners to invest in upgraded caravans in the knowledge they no longer just have a one year site licence.
“Under the new arrangements, any caravan owners with a caravan in excess of 15 years old will not be able to privately sell their caravan on the site (they could sell it off the site). Anyone currently on the site with a caravan in excess of 15 years old would be entitled to a site licence that runs up to the end of 2019. After that time they would need to either upgrade to a new or second hand caravan of a younger age and sell their existing caravan off site OR arrange removal of their caravan from the site and not renew their licence.
“The site currently has 726 caravans and the new licensing arrangements on the site will align it to many other caravan parks on the coast and ensure Kingfisher Caravan Park is a successful and thriving Park for many years to come.
“The principle behind the changes is to improve the overall quality of the Park and the caravans that are on the Park.”
However, Donna said more clarification is needed. She said: “As you can imagine a lot of owners are upset to be in limbo as such and not knowing where they stand. Especially when having contradictory information relayed to them.
“I have evidence of people being told an end date when they will have to come off site. Also non of what they were told corresponds equally to the next person.”