Caravan owners hit Parkdean Resorts for billing full fees during coronavirus lockout

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Caravan owners have criticized the holiday parks for charging them the full rate, although they were unable to visit during the coronavirus shutdown.

Mark Henderson, 47, pays £ 400 a month for his location at Cresswell Towers Holiday Park in Morpeth, Northumberland.

The site, owned by Parkdean Resorts, was forced to close in March after the UK was locked out to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Henderson of Fenham, Newcastle usually visits his mobile home every weekend to get away from the busy city life.

And he doesn’t see why anything should change during the pandemic as long as the owners adhere to the social distancing guidelines.

The region’s sales manager was recently laid off, and with his partner working part-time and looking after his little one, he says a refund of field costs would be welcome.

He said: “We have been informed that we cannot stay in our vacation home due to the lockout. I do not see any problem with social distancing because the caravans are not close to each other.

“We pay a lot of money each year to have our caravan at Cresswell Towers and not to be able to visit our caravan to make sure there is no damage, etc. unacceptable.

“There have been times [previously] when we visited the site and found that we had to replace the windows and the garden furniture.

“Homeowners should be reimbursed for all site fees that were paid during these lockout periods as a sign of goodwill. “

Parkdean Resorts says it follows current government guidelines by not allowing owners on site. Caravan parks across the country are expected to reopen in early July.

But the company said it was lobbying the government alongside UK Hospitality to open vacation homes for owners before that date.

Caravan owner Andy Robinson, 57, says it’s an “absolute shame” that they don’t get a reduction on fees during the lockout.

The 57-year-old caravan owner at Whitley Bay Holiday Park, North Tyneside, added, “We couldn’t even visit to make sure everything was fine.

“It’s not too bad in itself, but to learn that as owners we will not get any sort of reduction in Parkdean Resorts site fees is an absolute disgrace.



Whitley Bay Holiday Park
Whitley Bay Holiday Park

“It is not our fault that we cannot use our caravans. “

Since the lockdown was imposed, Parkdean Resorts says the only people left at the Whitley Bay site are front-line NHS workers who have been offered free housing.

The company says customers were offered 10% more on food and drinks for the inconvenience.

Money economist Martin Lewis says he has been inundated with questions and complaints about the latter problem.

Lewis added that the Competition and Markets Authority “certainly told us that partial refunds should be considered”.

A spokesperson for Parkdean Resorts said, “We understand that this is a frustrating and worrisome time for everyone, and it is not the result that some owners have wanted.

“We appreciate our relationship with the owners and have a number of initiatives to support them at the moment, including direct debit support and owners’ discounts on food and beverages.

“We are doing everything we can to get our owners back to the park and we look forward to welcoming them again as soon as it is safe to do so.

“The land license agreement allows owners to keep their vacation home on the park in return for paying the land fee.

“This does not guarantee that the park will remain open or that the owners will be able to use their vacation home at any given time, particularly in the event of a public health emergency such as this where the government has ordered the closure of entire industries . ”

Ros Pritchard OBE, executive director of the British Holiday and Home Parks Association, said: ” We recognize that many customers are disappointed that they cannot use their caravan at the moment and that a minority have asked that the parks compensate them.

“The understandable disappointment felt by all customers is due to the current crisis and the government’s legal response to protect the health of everyone involved.

“The holiday caravan agreement is not an agreement to rent the holiday to them. Rather, it is a license to provide the site for the location of this caravan – which the consumer owns – and to maintain the park and its infrastructure to supply the caravan.



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“These services continue to be provided to the consumer’s caravan despite the lockout. The consumer uses them because they keep their caravan on the ground and benefit from the essential maintenance services that the park must provide.

“This means that the consumer can rejoice in returning to his caravan which has been cared for in his absence and which remains connected to a public service system in the park, as it does every spring when it returns to the park after the winter closure . “

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