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Caravan parks need to be regulated, say Sheppey campaigners


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Caravan owners on a Sheppey park say holiday sites need to be regulated.

The move follows a row after Cosgrove Leisure, which owns four parks on the Island, sent letters to owners refusing to let them pay annual fees by monthly direct debit if their caravans were more than 10 years old.

Residents at Ashcroft Coast holiday park in Plough Road, Minster. From the left, Jane and Graeme Fothergill and Sue and Tony Downs
Residents at Ashcroft Coast holiday park in Plough Road, Minster. From the left, Jane and Graeme Fothergill and Sue and Tony Downs

As a result, owners on Ashcroft Coast holiday park in Plough Road, Minster, have formed an action group and are to begin campaigning for parks to be regulated nationally.

Jane Fothergill, who lives in Sittingbourne, said: “We are hearing so many scare stories about owners who live in fear from bullying owners and are too afraid to speak out.

“Some owners seem to believe they are above the law. We were horrified to discover there is no national regulator for parks like this. Some are members of voluntary trade organisations but there is nothing to stop anyone buying land and becoming a park owner.

“Parks like this with sea views seem wonderful when you are looking to buy. They sell you the dream. But then it can turn into a nightmare.”

Her husband Graeme has been seeking a meeting with bosses at Cosgrove Leisure, which also owns Sheerness Holiday Park, Shurland Dale at Eastchurch and Central Beach at Leysdown, to sort out contracts.

Entrance to Ashcroft Coast holiday park in Plough Road, Minster
Entrance to Ashcroft Coast holiday park in Plough Road, Minster

He said: “Everyone seems to have a different contract and are treated differently. We wanted a meeting with Paddy Cosgrove, the director, but we have been told that will never happen.”

Also in the group are Tony and Sue Downs from Birmingham.

They said: “We are concerned that some park owners believe they can change their terms and conditions without any discussion with caravan owners. A contract has to be agreed by both parties.”

Cosgrove Leisure was approached for comment.

Read more: All the latest news from Sheppey

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