New law targets year-long caravan park dwellers

A law to regulate caravan sites which could crack down on people choosing to live in caravans all year round has opened for consultation.

Clwyd West Assembly Member Darren Millar won a ballot in the Senedd to introduce an individual member’s bill to introduce the Holiday Caravan Park (Wales) Bill.

Mr Millar, the Conservatives’ Shadow Health Minister, has previously hit out at “unlawful” caravan occupiers and a “hidden population” of year-long static caravan users, saying they damaged the Welsh economy.

Permanent residents of caravan parks are “some of the most intense” users of public services, avoiding council tax which would normally apply to permanent residences.

He has proposed to reforming the law on holiday caravan sites in Wales which dates back to 1960.

The proposals – which are under consultation until September 13 – would address the use of holiday caravans as main homes, the powers of local councils to address it and the resources to license caravan park sites.

A similar law is currently going through the Assembly process, led by Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black, to regulate mobile home sites in Wales.

That law includes a provision for a requirement for all site owners to pass a “fit and proper persons” test, which could form part of Mr Millar’s proposals.

“The holiday caravan industry is a great Welsh success story which sees thousands of tourists flock to all parts of Wales every year,” Mr Millar said.

“However, the industry is not without its problems and from discussions I have had with constituents and those who know the industry well, I am aware that a minority of site operators and residents do not stick to either the spirit or the letter of the law.

“My Bill will seek to tackle these and other issues which I believe need to be addressed within the industry.

“I intend to consult far and wide to get people’s views on this Bill so I will be visiting caravan sites and tourist towns across Wales. I would like to hear from caravan site owners and operators, people who own or rent caravans in Wales and local authorities to find out how they think this Bill should work.

“The National Assembly is currently considering a similar Bill concerning residential park home sites in Wales and I believe that the holiday caravan site industry should have similar safeguards and high standards.”

To take part in the consultation, click here
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Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/new-consultation-targets-year-long-caravan-5379648