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There has been an increased tendency over the last few years, for lodge owners to start using their lodge, or buying a lodge to use as their primary residence on a park with either a Site license or planning permission for holiday or second use only.
I wonder why it is that people make this decision, when there is an abundance of fully licensed residential parks with homes available for purchase.
By choosing to buy a lodge to use as your permanent address on a holiday park, exposes what for most of us would be our main asset, to great risk. Once the Local Council finds out that holiday homes are being used for residential purposes, they can prosecute the park owner for either breach of his/ her Site Licence Conditions or for breach of his/ her Planning Consent. They may also serve an Enforcement Order directly upon the resident to remove their lodge from the Park. We do advise you to think very carefully before placing, what is usually most people's largest asset, in such a precarious position.
Please don't embarrass the Park Owner by asking if you may live on his land when they haven't the correct permission and please understand why the Park Owner may from time to time ask for proof that you still have a permanent residence elsewhere. He or she is trying to protect both their situation and yours. It may well also be part of their planning permission that they have to keep a register of the times they have asked for proof, together with copies of the utility bills at your primary address.
Choose to live on a fully licensed residential park, which must be your primary address and where you would have the full protection of the law behind you in the shape of the Mobile Homes Act 1983. We have over 1,700 fully licensed parks for residential use on our sibling website www.parkhomeliving.co.uk for you to choose from.
The writer of this article recently attended a Manufacturer’s Open Weekend where a salesman was overheard advising a potential lodge purchaser, that although the park in question was not open for a full 12 months, they could still live there. Both another company and I heard him say to the couple ‘.........after all, the local council aren’t going to sit outside the park gates and watch’.
Well, actually – that is exactly what they do and have done, resulting in lodge owners being served with an enforcement notice to remove their lodge from the park.
In the last couple of years, several lodge owners on around a fifteen parks (that we know of) have been served with enforcement notices to remove their lodges from the holiday lodge park they have been been residing on. In most cases the Park Owners have sought retrospective planning permission for residential use, which not having gained that in the first place, have been turned down.
It is true to say, that the odd park owner has been successful, but can you afford to take that risk?
Note One: We have an interesting thread on the Park Home Living Forum about this subject, which you may care to read.
Note Two: There is a list of residential lodge parks, or those fully residential parks prepared to sell lodges published on our forum.
Note Three: The National Caravan Council and the British Holiday & Home Parks Association have jointly published a Guide for Park Owners and Managers entitled - 'Misuse of Caravan Holiday Homes'
If you are a Park Owner or Manager and would like a copy of this publication, please call either the NCC on 01252 318251 or the BH+HPA on 01452 526911.