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Park Homes Policy Forum (South West) - Information Update

30 January 2018|Paul Baker

Paul Baker Insurance Services are pleased to promote this new park home resident’s policy forum and wish it every success. In line with our support for both local and national park home resident’s associations members of the new forum will qualify for our 15% resident association member discount.

PARK HOMES POLICY FORUM  (South West)

INFORMATION UPDATE

The Park Home Policy Forum has been launched to cover the counties of Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. The PHPF has been formed to support the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign, which through Sonia and her unstinting work on everyone`s behalf will continue to well represent Park Home residents at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Park Homes. but where the Forum is intended to provide added background support. 

These five South West counties have been chosen because the region accommodates more than 250 parks, 12,000 homes and 18,000 occupiers. It intends to send the clear message to government that events like the driving of Sonia out of her home due to threats, for her replacement home to then to be stolen leaving her effectively homeless and traumatised is the last straw. Also to help drive forward the wider changes that have become much needed. 

As park home owners, we should all be concerned that the current government review of Park Home legislation may not go far enough.  In the majority of cases, the Park Home sector can and does serve its customers well, but as increasingly experienced, tomorrow the site you live at could be secretly sold from under your feet to one of the many bankrolled rogue operators - then the real problems can begin. 

We should also be concerned that with the combination of a deteriorating market reputation and escalating pitch fees, that the Park Home sector may eventually no longer represent a lower costs housing option of choice, leaving many of us trapped in devalued homes, our options closed and our beneficiaries left with much less, or little or nothing.  

There is an urgent need to ensure that the market is stabilised and this will only be achieved if there are improved controls. These may not affect those ethical traders who run their sites well, but they are essential if the rogue element is to brought into line and, if not, removed from the sector. This being a policy statement repeated by previous Housing Ministers that has still yet to be delivered. 

Below, I set out what I believe is necessary and have recommended to Government, but there are no guarantees that any of what is proposed will be implemented. If not, this could leave us much where we are, with little possibility of a further review for very many years to come. 

WE MUST ACT NOW and push for radical changes, to ensure that we are not disregarded by Councils, to ensure the future prevention of fraud and overcharges, to improve our rights and to impose meaningful penalties for site owner non-compliances. There is little time left - as the outcome of the review of legislation is expected to be announced toward the end of this year. 

The Ten Point Policy Forum drive for changes includes the following: 

1)    A comprehensive review of the MHA Implied Terms that relate to charges.

2)     A coordinated cross-county approach between all South West Local Authorities, that actively consults with and involves rather than disregards the rights and representations of park home owners. 

3)    The use of escalating fixed penalties for non compliance with Works Notices.

4)    The requirement for site owners to allocate a set percentage of pitch fee revenues to sinking funds for site maintenances that is then managed in conjunction with occupiers. 

5)    Improved strategies to respond to rogue site owners that involves procedures for the temporary or permanent assignments, by the Courts, of site licences to third party companies with positive track records in the management of tenanted estates.

6)    Full transparency in charges and clarity in what costs can or cannot be passed on.

7)    Developing Strategies for tackling new forms of sales blocking. 

8)    The introduction of building controls for all newly sited homes. 

9)    To prevent fraud in the sales of holiday homes as residential, the requirement for all buyers of new homes to be provided with advance copies of the full planning consents. 

10)    Supporting a review of the current sales commissions and the current classification of residential Park Homes as caravans.

If you agree with some or all of these proposals and are happy for me to help Sonia where otherwise she sometimes stands alone, then please join the Park Homes Policy Forum. Membership Is Free. If your park is located in Wiltshire, Avon & Somerset, Dorset, Devon or Cornwall, it is easy to join and support this further drive for changes by registering your membership in the following ways:-

By Email 

Pass this information on to your neighbours and members of your Association if you have one. 

To ensure strict confidentiality, Email my below private email address with your own names and address (email and telephone number may help but is optional) This information will Never be divulged to any third party without your prior express written permission. 

With the agreement of your Residents Association, send a list of all of your Association members and addresses who wish to be affiliated and also become members of the Park Homes Policy Forum ( SW)

By Post

Send this same information to the undersigned at the below address. Please note that there will be no written acknowledgements due to costs and personal funding, but all members will be registered upon receipt of requests.

This latest move is fully supported by Sonia`s JUSTICE Campaign. Please Register your personal memberships today and your own Association members within 14 days. Please also notify any contacts you may have at all parks in the designated SW counties and share this initiative on social media such as your facebook page.


Tony Turner.

Park Homes Policy Forum

49A, St, Dominic Park,Harrowbarrow,CallingtonCORNWALL,PL17 8BN

email: ferrier57@btinternet.com