Council in talks with residents facing eviction

12/2/15- Beauport Park Caravan Park, The Ridge, Hastings. SUS-151202-114924001
12/2/15- Beauport Park Caravan Park, The Ridge, Hastings. SUS-151202-114924001

Rother District Council insists it is in discussion with holiday parks and their residents following news some people may be evicted during a crackdown on council tax.

Last week, the Observer told how residents at Beauport Holiday Park were living in fear of being evicted after being told they’d breached their contracts with the park.

Park Holidays, which runs Beauport Park and Coghurst Hall in Hastings, claimed it is a breach of contract to use the park as a person’s only permanent residence, despite them being allowed to stay there for 50 weeks of the year.

It was revealed a number of residents are living solely on-site after Rother District Council issued a series of letters telling them they must pay council tax on their holiday home if they don’t already pay it on another property. Those that admitted to not owning another property are now facing eviction.

A spokesman for Rother District Council said: “Over the past few months, officers at Rother District Council, which is responsible for collecting council tax, have been carrying out surveys to confirm council tax is being paid on residents’ primary property. Unfortunately, some residents found themselves in breach of the terms and conditions set by the holiday park.

“We are in discussion with the holiday parks and residents affected. Applications for support received by the district council will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.”

A spokesman for Park Holidays said: “Holiday homes at Beauport Park can not be used as permanent residences. If it is brought to our attention a customer has no permanent address elsewhere, and is therefore living permanently in the holiday home, we may have no alternative but to withdraw our agreement to allow that person to occupy the holiday home on the park.”

One resident at Beauport Park, who did not wish to be named, said: “We already pay council tax, but Band B (about £350 a year) – once included in the site fee, now billed separately, as is the water charge. We also now have to pay insurance separately, so I wonder what exactly the site fee is for.”

Another resident added: “Beauport Park have instructed owners to evict their tenant with 14 days, despite many tenants having longer notice periods in their contracts. One tenant has been evicted with two weeks notice. They have a terminally ill child.”

Park Holidays has claimed that, to date, no licence withdrawals at Beauport have been made on the basis of a person’s liability to council tax.