Fresh fears for caravan site

Forum committee member Harry Kinder says he cannot afford a new caravan
Forum committee member Harry Kinder says he cannot afford a new caravan

A change made to the way a caravan site operates will deter new customers and tourists from settling down in Bridlington, according to current owners.

Untill 1 March this year caravan owners at the South Cliff site applied for a licence for 10 years, plus annual fees, after which an annual inspection was required at a cost of around £225.

The new system will see caravans of more than 18 years of age replaced with a brand new one, or a preowned one purchased from a dealer approved by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Brian Taylor, 70, of South Yorkshire said: “It has become a refuge for me. But I am a pensioner now and my caravan turns 18-years-old next year.

“It’s in good condition but now I will have to give it up because there is no way I can afford a new caravan at a cost of around £30,000.

People don’t have money to just throw away.”

South Cliff Caravan Site forum committee member Harry Kinder said he tried to reach a compromise with the Council last year before the change was passed.

He said: “We would have been happy with extending the 18 year period to 20 years, but the council stuck with 18.

“I will be in a similar boat to Mr Taylor come three years time. There will be around another 60 caravans that come off licence that year and most of them will be in the same situation - they won’t want to pay too much for a new caravan.”

However a spokesperson for the East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “The council discussed these changes with the park’s customer forum and the changes also involve lifting a previous restriction in place regarding bringing second-hand caravans onto the site. Customers can now buy a caravan that is up to seven years of age and bring it onto the park. South Cliff Caravan Park continues to be popular, with 752 pitches, and is run by the council in a commercial way so as not to cost the taxpayer money. No customer is affected by the changes for the forthcoming season and nine are affected in 2016, although three of these have already part exchanged their caravans for newer models.”

Mr Kinder added: “The site was intended for working people and you can’t just turn it into a millionaire’s paradise like the Council are doing.”