Tuesday, 18 January 2022

18th January 2022

 The APPG (all party parliamentary group fo park homes) 

meeting has been postponed until 7th February to accommodate the Minister's diary.  I am told that the Minister will attend 

I will hope to bring up the 10% Commission question and the change from RPI to CPI increase in the pitch fee.

Friday, 7 January 2022

January 7th 2022

 

NEW YEAR UPDATE from The Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign

This Update contains infomation on the 10% Commission Charge.  A subject that affects EVERY Park Home Resident in the Country and one that our 30,000 supporters have been responsible for getting Government to task the University of Liverpool and Sheffield Hallam to conduct the Independent Review that we campaigned for.

The Minister’s office reports as below:

 

The Government commissioned the University of Liverpool in March to carry out research and gather data, to enable an assessment to be made of any impacts on the sector of a change to the rate of commission paid on the sale of a home. In April, the research team organized 13 focus group meetings and also carried out a survey of site owners and residents. The team plan to submit their final report at the end of the year.



The University have now concluded their research and their report has been returned to Government.  I will let you know as soon as a decision is made.  I attended one of the focus groups and put forward the reviews of our JUSTICE Campaign.

Importantly - ALTHOUGH SOME FOUR YEARS AGO - GOVERNMENT PROMISED THEY WOULD CHANGE RPI (recommended price index)TO THE LOWER CPI RATE (consumer price index.)  You are all presently suffering from the RPI rise to your monthly pitch fees.  This figure is currently above 6% and of course when added to your pitch fee - will remain there for evermore - notwithstanding that your pensions only rise by CPI and the price of your gas and electricity is escallating.

Government continue to confirm that they will introduce legislation to change this when parliamentary time allows.  They could easily do this.  All they have to do is hand it down as part of the parliamentary time table or as a hand out bill.  Sadly, they do not appear to want to do either and although I have raised questions at the APPG;  sadly it still sits in the department's pending tray until someone decides to send it on its journey.  Of course, this subject does not affect MPs; as few, if any, live in Park Homes or under the regime of greedy landlords - therefore it is clearly not a subject that affects them and they do not seem to be too worried about your circumstances.  Having said that;  there are MPs who are concerned about your plight and I have been grateful to receive their confirmation letters and can only hope they will speak in the chamber on your behalf.

APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group for Park Homes.)

The next meeting is due to be held on Monday 24th January 2022.  I will be there on behalf of our JUSTICE Campaign.  The Agenda has not yet been set, but I have requested that it includes:

1. RPI to CPI and its movement to either the Bill Committee or being handed down as a Private Members Bill.


2. The progress of the 10% Commission Charge and when a decision can be expected.


3. Why Local Authorities are turning a blind eye to site owners placing homes on the parks without planning permission.


4. Fit and Proper.


You will also be aware of the link below that includes the letter that hundreds (if not thousands) of residents have now copied and sent to the Minister regarding the change from RPI to CPI on your pitch fees.  These letters will continue to go out every month until they make the promised change; this is courtesy of  Paul Baker of pb insurance services who print it in their Park Home News Magazine that is delivered every month to all parts of our country.


I have also written to our President Sir Peter Bottomley MP.  Sir Peter is the Father of the House and I have asked if he would please speak with the Minister regarding the RPI to CPI content of our attached letter below.  Sir Peter is also a Vice Chairman of the APPG and will  be at the meeting on the 24th January at which I am told a Minister will be present.


Certainly,  at the APPG my main aim  will be to raise and push the issues that our JUSTICE Campaign has fought for.  ie, the 10% Commission and the change from RPI to CPI on your pitch fee.   I will be asking for answers.  Why the plight of residents has been placed on the back burner and how they expect you to deal with rising costs when your pensions rise by CPI.  What the APPG can do to push this along and when we can expect answers.


If you or the members of your park have not already sent your letter, please open the attachment below and send to the Minister.  With the covid situation, this is the best that we can do to bring our presence to London and I believe it is better than another rally because your letters go straight to the office of the Minister and by inundating him - we are continuing to bring awareness and the message that we are not going away.


After the APPG - if not before - I will keep you all informed on these subjects which affect you all.


TO HELP ANY JUSTICE CAMPAIGN SUPPORTER WHO RESIDES ON A WYLDECREST PARK - I AM HAPPY TO POST THE PIECE BELOW THAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN BY My friend and colleague Tony Turner of the Park Homes Policy forum who has formed a new WYLDECREST PARKS RESIDENTS ALLIANCE.

It is intended to offer Wyldecrest residents across the UK the opportunity to share information, experiences and give relevant advice, it will also provide Updates about what can and should be done to counter persistent or new abuses and negligence`s and bring residents together, where co-ordinated action is needed in England, Wales and Scotland, including where seen as necessary, the syncronising of applications to regional First Tier Tribunals where abuses and negligence`s are common and in other actions that can collectively be taken.

Membership is free and the list of members will always be kept strictly confidential.  Tony, its founder is looking to locate a like-minded someone on every Wyldecrest Park  who will be willing and able to receive Updates by email, that can then be distributed to homes that do not have direct access to their own computers, therefore keeping everyone informed.

Anyone willing and able to take on these voluntary roles at each site, can email Tony using his private and secure personal email address, letting him have their name, the name and location of the Park, their telephone number.  (ideally landline ) and email address. He will then make contact direct.

Tony says “  where the authorities abdicate their responsibilities, then we must take action ourselves and together, this will have far greater impact than residents at each site standing alone. We need to join together with a common cross-county purpose to ensure that Wyldcrest meet their contractual obligations, do what they are supposed to do and not what they have so far largely got away with “.

I can personally vouch for Tony's dedication, integrity and trustworthiness – but he will need the support of every Wyldecrest Park.

Tony`s email address is : ferrier57@btinternet.com

This is the link to the new Wyldcrest Alliance https://www.facebook.com/Wyldecrest-Parks-Residents-Alliance-103219202252103/ 


Best Wishes, stay safe and please open the link below if you have not already sent a letter to the Minister.

Sonia



The Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign

President:  Sir Peter Bottomley MP

                             (Father of the House of Commons)

                                                     Founder:  Sonia McColl OBE

Tel: 07903024612.   Email:  phojc1sm@gmail.com

Date.

Your Address:

 

 

To

The Rt Hon. Michael Gove MP

Secretary of State for Levelling Up Housing and Communities

House of Commons

London  SW1A OAA

 

Dear Minister

IT’S TIME TO LEVEL UP

Park Home Residents in Wales enjoy a CPI increase to their pitch fees.

Park Home Residents in England are still forced to pay the much higher RPI increase.

 

I write as a member of the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign regarding the Government’s promised change from RPI to CPI on the pitch fee payable by park home owners to the site owner.

 

As you will be aware, Government promised the change from RPI to CPI in October 2018 (when parliamentary time allows.)  Three years have now passed and although our founder Sonia McColl, has tried to ascertain if it has been included in the parliamentary time table.  Sadly, we can get no clear answer. 

 

Park home owner’s pensions rise by CPI and the continued use of RPI – particularly in these times when food, fuel and petrol are rising – is very unhelpful to those who have a limited income.

 

May I therefore respectfully request that if Government has not been able to find time in its programme for the promised change from RPI to CPI; that it offers it as a hand-out bill to a backbench MP to take forward as a Private Members Bill.

 

Thanking you in anticipation of an early reply and levelling up action.

 

Yours sincerely

 

I have also copied this letter to my constituency MP asking that he/she will also voice our request.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

2nd November 2021

 HELP NEEDED FROM ALL PARK HOME RESIDENTS.

If you want to see the RPI  increase to your pitch fee changed to the lower rate of CPI 
please send the letter below to the Minister, Michael Gove.
If you need a copy of the letter to be sent to you.  Please email Sonia at

Monday, 1 November 2021

1st N ovember 2021

 

The Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign

President:  Sir Peter Bottomley MP

                             (Father of the House of Commons)

                                                     Founder:  Sonia McColl OBE

Tel: 07903024612.   Email:  phojc1sm@gmail.com

Date.

Your Address:

 

 

To

The Rt Hon. Michael Gove MP

Secretary of State for Levelling Up Housing and Communities

House of Commons

London  SW1A OAA

 

Dear Minister

IT’S TIME TO LEVEL UP

Park Home Residents in Wales enjoy a CPI increase to their pitch fees.

Park Home Residents in England are still forced to pay the much higher RPI increase.

 

I write as a member of the Park Home Owners JUSTICE Campaign regarding the Government’s promised change from RPI to CPI on the pitch fee payable by park home owners to the site owner.

 

As you will be aware, Government promised the change from RPI to CPI in October 2018 (when parliamentary time allows.)  Three years have now passed and although our founder Sonia McColl, has tried to ascertain if it has been included in the parliamentary time table.  Sadly, we can get no clear answer. 

 

Park home owner’s pensions rise by CPI and the continued use of RPI – particularly in these times when food, fuel and petrol are rising – is very unhelpful to those who have a limited income.

 

May I therefore respectfully request that if Government has not been able to find time in its programme for the promised change from RPI to CPI; that it offers it as a hand-out bill to a backbench MP to take forward as a Private Members Bill.

 

Thanking you in anticipation of an early reply and levelling up action.

 

Yours sincerely

 

I have also copied this letter to my constituency MP asking that he/she will also voice our request.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Friday 24th September 2021

 

IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR PARK OWNERS WHO SITE HOMES WITHOUT PLANNING PERMISSION?

 

 Gareth Bacon Conservative, Orpington  1:59 pm, 21st September 2021

I beg to move,

 

That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make unauthorised development without planning permission an offence;

to prohibit retrospective planning applications;

and for connected purposes.

 

The purpose of this Bill is to ensure that everyone who engages with the planning system is on a level playing field and follows the same procedures. It is not to remove permitted development rights, nor is it to target particular communities. Regrettably, in the current planning system, there are loopholes that are all too frequently exploited and, to ensure fairness, it is important that they are closed.

 

Under current planning rules, development without permission is not a criminal offence. While failure to comply with an enforcement notice is a criminal offence, getting to that point is rare and is very often an overly long and costly process. Too often, people are gaming the system by proceeding with development work, sometimes on a large scale, without having first received or even applied for planning permission. Those engaging in such practices are gambling that, even if the local authority becomes aware of an unauthorised development, if the development is sufficiently advanced, it will prove too time-consuming and costly for the local authority to do much about it. Evidence seems to suggest that they may be right. While there are a range of enforcement powers open to local authorities, including enforcement, contravention and stop notices, they do not appear to be a sufficient deterrent.

 

Government data from March 2021 show that, in the previous year across England, just under 3,000 enforcement notices were issued, 3,500 planning contravention notices were served, and 49 injunctions were granted by a county court or the High Court.

 

There are many examples of unauthorised development to be found across the country, both large and small. I will give one current example that is currently impacting on my own constituency of Orpington. As I speak today, an unauthorised development is taking place on Wheatsheaf Hill, on the border of my Orpington constituency and neighbouring Sevenoaks. Since the turn of the year, much activity has taken place on this greenbelt site, where a large area of wooded land has been cleared, six mobile homes have been installed and further work is continuing—all without planning permission. This has caused great concern both to me and to my neighbour, my hon. Friend Laura Trott, as residents on both sides of the constituency boundary have been raising increasing levels of alarm on a daily basis throughout the year.

 

It has been, to say the least, a very frustrating process. The local planning authority, Bromley Council, was eventually able to obtain a court injunction, but work on the site has continued unabated. Despite daily evidence being provided by residents, including written statements, photographs, videos and drone footage, work has continued with no regard to the court injunction, the objections of local people or the local council. I have personally witnessed work taking place, and I am grateful to those constituents who have provided me with reports of activity and supporting evidence. Sadly, I have also received reports of significant levels of aggression being directed by those responsible for this particular development towards local residents, council officers, and even, incredibly, the local police.

 

Under section 73A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, a local planning authority can consider a retrospective planning application for works or a change of use that has already been carried out. This type of application is dealt with in the same way as a normal planning application, although the development has already taken place. In theory, therefore, the amount of work carried out by the local planning authority is approximately the same as an application submitted in advance of a development taking place. However, as is the case in the example that I have just cited, retrospective applications will often be controversial, attracting a lot of public attention and correspondence, which can greatly increase the workload of the relevant case officer.

 

Planning officers have confirmed that retrospective applications often tend to be invalid upon receipt, and this creates additional unnecessary work for the planning authority to resolve them. However, it is possible that the real cost is the fact that the concept exists at all, as the fact that it is possible to apply retrospectively proactively encourages unauthorised development. The evidence is overwhelming that, on a large number of occasions, developers believe that once a development is in place they are more likely to get planning permission. That is an encouragement for them to take that risk.

 

In most cases, where retrospective applications are refused, enforcement action follows, which can be lengthy and costly for the local planning authorities. Indeed, some applicants deliberately draw out a situation where they know enforcement action is inevitable, knowing that they will have a right of appeal if it is refused. While enforcement notices can be issued, the right of appeal means that a breach of planning can last very significant periods of time before the site in question can be restored to its former state—if indeed it can be restored at all.

 

The scope of this proposed legislation is therefore to remove remaining permissible grounds for unauthorised developments. Instead, by making unauthorised developments an offence, both the appeal route and the right of retrospective applications will be removed.

 

In closing, I wish to express my gratitude to Bromley councillors Tony Owen and Colin Smith, who provided me with much of the original thinking behind this Bill, and to colleagues who are supporting me in the Chamber today. We are acutely aware of the damage that this problem causes, and we are supporting our constituents where such development has blighted their communities.

 

I recognise the challenges that a private Member’s Bill faces to get onto the statute book, which is why I request that Ministers meet with me and co-sponsors to consider adopting this legislation as part of any forthcoming planning Bill that emerges. Together, we have the opportunity to bring about lasting change to the planning system for the benefit of our constituents.

 

Question put and agreed to.

 

Ordered,

 

That Gareth Bacon, Lee Anderson, Mr John Baron, Felicity Buchan, Gareth Davies, Ben Everitt, Jonathan Gullis, Tom Hunt, Marco Longhi, Sir Robert Neill, Tom Randall and David Simmonds present the Bill.

 

Gareth Bacon accordingly presented the Bill.

 

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time on Friday 3 December, and to be printed (Bill 165).

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

4th August 2021

 


News story

 

PAUL BAKER INSURANCE SERVICES are delighted to announce the return of their popular PARK HOME ROAD SHOWS. The first one will be held on 28th October 2021 at Cobham Village Hall, Cobham, KT11 2LU. It will start at 2.00pm and finish at 4.00pm. Numbers will be limited to around 120 and you will need to book in advance.

 

The full line up of speakers is still being confirmed but it is anticipated that the event will be chaired by Alex Melvin, Editor of Park Home & Holiday Caravan Magazine, speakers so far include Ibraheem Dulmeer, barrister and mediator and expert on park home law, Sonia McColl of the Park Home Owners’ JUSTICE Campaign and Park-HELP-Line, Paul Baker from sponsors Paul Baker Insurance Services, a leading park home insurance provider, and a representative from IPHAS, the Independent Park Home Advisory Service.

 

The format of the event will be a 10 minute presentation from each speaker following by a Question and Answer session. There may be an opportunity for individual consultations after 4.00pm but the hall must be vacated by 5.00pm. Tea and coffee will be available on arrival, there is limited car-parking on site, the event is FREE to attend.

 

Pre-booking is essential, please email paul.baker@pbinsurance.co.uk or call Paul on 01242 505840, we will need the name and address of all attendees.

 

We look forward to seeing you at Cobham !