Caravan owners’ fury as new council rules means they could face eviction

Caravan owners in a council-owned park are furious that new rules mean they will lose their holiday homes unless they fork out thousands of pounds.

The changes at Kingfisher Holiday Park in Ingoldmells, Skegness, mean anyone with a caravan more than 20 years old must replace it with a new one or they will evicted from the site.

But owners claim they were told by the park's owners, East Lindsey District Council, that there were no age limits to their homes and as long as they kept them "clean and tidy" their annual licence will be renewed.

On Sunday Mirror Online reported the cases of a terminally-ill grandad and a mum-of-three who will lose their homes as they are unable to buy a replacement caravan.

Have you been affected by the new age limit rules email [email protected]

But since then more owners have come forward including Jordan Hugill, 25, who was sold a 19-year-old caravan in March.

The dad-of-four from Doncaster now faces a hefty bill for a replacement in less than a year's time.

He said: "One of the key elements to me buying this caravan was the fact I was told there was no age limit.

"I specifically asked and was told as long as I keep it in a good condition then there would be no problem.

"I even checked with other caravan owners to find out if this was the cash before I parted with my hard-earned cash.

"I paid £7,000 for my caravan plus £3,000 ground rent and a transfer fee of £2,100 and next year I now face having to pay £60,000 upward for a new caravan."

Over the weekend Jordan launched an petition against the new rules which has already been signed by more than 2,000 people.

"People are being hit really hard," he said.

"Not just the owners but other businesses too as people who were due to have work done on their caravans have now cancelled as they don't think they'll be here next year.

"We are fighting this through and through."

According to several owners the council tried to bring in a similar rule in 2017 but it was thrown out after a protest.

Another owner, who asked to be anonymous, said when she bought her caravan in September she was told she could keep it forever as long as it was kept "clean and tidy".

She told Mirror Online: "We brought it privately but it was done through the official channels. 

"I asked the woman if there was a time limit and was told I could keep it for ever as long as it was clean and tidy. 

"I paid £15,000 for the caravan plus a £2,100 transfer free and an licence fee of £729.47. If I knew the rules were about to change I would never had spent all this money. 

"We are now being bullied into signing this new agreement by November 15 but no one really knows what it means.

"I have used all my life savings as the caravan ended up costing me double and I don't know how I will afford to pay for solicitor to help us fight this."

Another outraged owner said he bought his caravan in January and as he was aware of a previous attempt to bring in an age limit he was reassured it would not happened again.

He said: "This weekend I got a letter saying as my caravan is over 20 years of age I must take it off the site by December 2020.

"I have been mislead. I paid £4,000 for the caravan, £2,100 transfer fee and a year's site fees of £1,000. This feels like fraud."

According to the owners if they want to rent their caravans out during the holiday season they have to pay an additional annual fee of £400.

But they said they fear they will be unable to do so in the future because brand new rental only caravans owned by the park could be installed on the site.

An owner who lives in Sheffield said she was "appalled" by the council's stance after buying a 16-year-old caravan £12,000 plus costs this year.

She said: "Me and my husband brought it privately but through the official channels and I was told as long it was kept "clean and tidy" I would have it forever.

"We bought ours to rent out and bring in some income but now we will lose money.

"It's not just use I have heard of people who own 12 caravans and next year they will have just four.

"Because the council owned the site it gave us extra reassurance. I am appalled they are behaving like this."

A single mum-of-four, said she's upset at the prospect of losing the 18-year-old caravan she bought just two years ago.

She said: "I am absolutely gutted, angry and very upset that we’re going to lose the caravan after all what we've put into it, not to mention the initial cost of £17,163

"I know that there is a lot of owners in the same position as me and I feel that a lot of us have been mis-sold our caravans on idle promises."

The holiday park is listed on the council's website and includes the cost of ground rent and facilities on the site.

It also points out that the 726 caravans on the site are privately-own.

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