‘Totally unfair’ Caravan owners go to court as they’re forced from site under new rules
CARAVAN owners near Skegness are taking their local council to court after they were told their vehicles were too old to be on the site.
The residents of the Kingfisher Caravan Park in Ingoldmells claim that in October 2019 the council informed people on the site of changes to contracts. This meant that there could be no caravans that were more than 15-years-old on the premises.
As a result of this, more than 100 residents will be taking legal action against East Lindsey District Council.
The council extended the date that the caravans needed to be moved due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But, the group says that the council has now set a deadline of the end of the year for certain caravans to be removed.
Steve Wakefield and his wife Kim bought their caravan in 2001 and will be massively affected if the changes go ahead.
Speaking to Lincolnshire Live, he said: “It’s totally unfair. I just can’t understand the council’s position at all, and I sometimes wonder if they understand it themselves.
“I don’t think they thought through the implications of it because there’s bits of this site that look like a ghost town now because of the number of people who have left.
“The council didn’t seem to realise how many people would be leaving so quickly because at the end of the 2019 season it looked like a flood of caravans leaving the site – just one after the other.”
The residents say they have been left with “no option” but to take the council to court.
The most recent attempt at mediation between the two sides came during a meeting on July 21, but it failed to resolve any issues.
Stuart Allen is representing the residents and says that more than 300 owners and caravans have been removed since being told about the contract change.
He says that some residents felt they had no choice but to sell their vans for scrap, given that they were only informed of the change just three weeks before the end of the 2019 season.
Peter Blackburn, 66, stays on the site with his wife for most of the season, but is considering his future.
He said: “We first came here in 2009 but the current caravan we’re in is one that we bought in 2013 and so it’s eight years old now.
“So we’re a few years off the age limit yet, if it still goes ahead, but another rule the council has is that you can’t sell the caravan privately after ten years so I’m already thinking about what we’ll do.
“All these rules that they have, and the new age limit one that they’re trying to bring in, is all just stress that you don’t need.
“My wife and I bought our caravan as a retirement thing for life that would be our forever home, and now it’s looking as if it might not be.
“She’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer and so I will not be moving the caravan in the immediate future because she loves it down here and I want her to be able to enjoy it.
“If the council was really bothered about the age of the caravans, then they should have done it through a process of natural wastage – where they told residents that they couldn’t pass the caravan on to their kids or whatever.
“But when you’re seeing old couples driving off the site in tears, you know that this can’t be the right way to go about things.”
It could take up to two years for the case to be heard, according to Stuart Allen, as he will be submitting papers against the council soon.
He added that the cost of the court action could rise up to £60,000, with the group having already spent £30,000.