Caravan owners on a Skegness caravan site are set to take East Lindsey Council to court over changes the council have made to the owners terms and conditions.
The changes brought in on the Council owned Kingfisher Caravan Park in Ingoldmells has resulted in some caravan owners selling their pride and joy for scrap.
Stuart Allen, 52, who is representing more than 100 caravan owners has said he is shocked with the changes East Lindsey Council have brought in.
“We will be submitting court papers in relation to action taken by East Lindsey District Council in the next three or four weeks.”
According to Stuart, in October 2019, the council shocked caravan owners on the Kingfisher Caravan Park by making changes to the contracts that state no caravans over 15 years old are allowed on site.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the deadline for when the caravans had to be moved off site was extended. However, East Lindsey District Council have now informed Kingfisher Caravan owners that they must now move their caravans off by the end of the year.
Stuart said he and the other Skegness caravan owners have spent nearly £30,000 fighting the council over the changes.
He said: “The site is owned by East Lindsey District Council and for the last two years we have been fighting enforced changes to terms and conditions on our licences that have seen over 300 owners and caravans removed from a site of just 726 pitches.
“The site has been owned by the council since 1974 and they have regularly tried to implement change to the age of caravans on the site.
“Since the early 2000s their policy has always been that there was no age limit on the site, and you could stop on the site as long as you kept your caravan in good condition.
“We have all paid our annual renewal fee on this basis, since everybody on the site that I represent has owned their caravan.”
Stuart says that he has been left with “no option” but to take the council to court after their most recent attempt at mediation during a meeting on Wednesday, July 21, failed to produce any results.
Stuart added: “The notice was issued three weeks before the end of the season and we were told to accept the changes or leave.
“Many felt they had no choice, and either were looking to move their vans to another site or sell their beloved vans for scrap.
“Most of the caravans went for scrap at extremely low value.
“The council have lost over 300 caravans on the site, losing an estimated one million pounds per year in revenue for the authority.
“The local businesses have lost business income not just from the owners but from the many people who used to rent privately from the people who left.”
We went on the streets of Skegness to find out what people living and visiting Skegness thought about the council changing the terms and conditions of caravan owners. The response we received by both holidaymakers and residents does not put the council in a good light.
The overall response from those living in Skegness was that the council should be ashamed of their actions. They also felt that the council are putting people off coming to Skegness and buying a caravan.
One Skegness business owner who did not want to be named said: “What the council are doing is having a knock-on effect on local business owners. They are advertising to those thinking of coming to Skegness or purchasing a caravan that they should go elsewhere as the council cannot be trusted.”
East Lindsey District Council said in a statement: “The council is really disappointed that a mediated position could not be reached, however, it has very carefully considered everything Mr Allen and the group have said and it does not agree that it could not change its licence agreement.
“Whilst it hopes that Mr Allen and the group does not incur great expense in seeking to litigate, it is confident that everything it has done is absolutely lawful and will ensure that the site sees significant investment to the benefit of all of its licensees and holidaymakers.”