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Call for crackdown on permanent holiday caravan site residents dodging council tax

14 Jan 2022 3 minutes Read
Static caravans in mobile home caravan park

Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporters

Concerns that some people are living on holiday caravan sites permanently, and not paying council tax to use services, have been raised by a councillor.

At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Planning, Taxi Licensing and Rights of Way committee on Thursday, January 13, councillors discussed changes proposed in a new draft Holiday Caravan Site Licence Conditions.

Powys’ senior licensing officer, Sue Jones told the committee that the conditions needed to be updated as they had not changed since the “1980s”.

“It’s a work I’ve wanted to do for a while as I considered they needed modernising and unifying,” said Ms Jones.

Ms Jones added that updated conditions had been finalised in March 2020 but they had been delayed for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Jonathan Wilkinson said: “I know it’s a can of worms and I’m not afraid to open it, my question is about residency in holiday parks.

“It’s a serious matter as there is a net loss to the authority as residents should be paying a council charge.

“I’m aware on several sites that isn’t happening and hasn’t for years.

“There should be strict regulation that you will not live on a holiday park, and we enforce it.”

Ms Jones said: “My problem is that I don’t have any powers, the occupancy period and type of site is a planning restriction.

“The whole Covid situation shone a light on this hidden population of people living on holiday sites.”

Ms Jones said that meetings had been held with council planning staff and those that deal with council tax to discuss what steps to take.

‘Investigated’ 

Referrals were made for people’s need to pay the council tax to be investigated.

Ms Jones told councillors that on more recently built sites, “robust conditions” that dealt with this problem are in place, and transgression can be dealt with.

Ms Jones said: “What it requires is new legislation.

“There was a bill being proposed that put the onus on the holiday site owners.

“They need to ensure that all caravan owners could prove they had a home residence and maintain those records regularly.

“Unfortunately, that bill never went through.

“It’s not just Powys but everywhere, it’s a particular problem in North Wales.”

Planning committee solicitor, Colin Edwards said: “Any complaints should be logged on the enforcement website.”

Councillors unanimously backed updating the conditions which will now go be subject to an eight-week consultation.

In Powys, there are just over 200 licensed holiday and touring sites that vary in size they will now be contacted to give their views.

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Don
Don
4 days ago

Not sure I agree with this. I don’t have any experience of living on a campsite but I imagine you pay the site a services fee which would cover the water, refuse collection and other amenities. The site in turn pay council tax and some sort of business rates. It seems unfair on the site residents to effectively have to pay twice for the same services. It would be a bit like catching a bus and having to pay some road tax or inner city congestion charges. If the residents are going to pay council tax they should also pay… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
4 days ago
Reply to  Don

Perhaps the remedy lies with charging a realistic ( probably higher ) level of council tax on the business running the site. Too many holiday businesses are ducking and diving on such matters.

Angela
Angela
3 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

They will continue to duck their responsibilities passing on the extra to the people in the caravans to pay and claiming tax rebates

Grayham Jones
4 days ago
Reply to  Don

Hi Don parkdeen have got 7 sites in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 and don’t pay Eny rates to
Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 parkdeen site in porthcawl is trying to get all older people of their site in porthcawl because they don’t spend money on the site where family’s spend money on the site.

Ellen Smith
Ellen Smith
1 day ago
Reply to  Don

Hi Don you are correct in saying as owners we pay site fees, but we also pay water rates Domestic and non Domestic. Any charges that are made to Park owners would only be passed down to the privately owned caravans.

Grayham Jones
4 days ago

All caravan park in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 to be run
Only by welsh people so the money stays in Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 And no more second homes in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Angela
Angela
3 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Totally agree

Jeanine Allen
Jeanine Allen
1 day ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

A lot of people who live in wales also have more than one property that they rent to students and tourists. How would they survive without that income.
If people live permanently in caravans then they should pay tax to the country it’s sited.

Jean Ali
Jean Ali
4 days ago

Omg what about the campsites that are ripping off the owners why isn’t that being addressed as usual try to get more money of the everyday person who I’m sure if that had egough money they live in a house and be happy to pay council tax etc etc their is normally a reason people live in caravans

Nick Paws
Nick Paws
4 days ago

They are more concerned with people paying Council Tax than these greedy parks breaking their licence and having full time residents on them ? Perhaps the issue lies more dong their job and ensuring these parks abide by the licence they hold which is for people to holiday only on not living there full time. Cramming people in living on these sites which were not designed to have full time residentials on brings all matter of safety into breach, as well as those holiday makers who bought on these sites some paying a life times savings for peace and tranquil… Read more »

Angela
Angela
3 days ago

The caravan owners almost always pay sewerage, water rates and councils for rubbish removal annually. They also pay a share of the business rates the owner receives from the council. So they are actually paying. They also bring money into the communities.
Its the second home owners we need to be tackling and charging. They are increasing house prices which result in local people being unable to stay in their own communities. Ruining the cultural aspect of Wales and paying less in taxes, claiming most back. Stop second homes !!

Doctor Trousers
Doctor Trousers
3 days ago

As many have already pointed out, residents are already paying for their utilities in the form of site fees, with the campsites in turn paying that on to the council in the form of business rates. In effect, the residents are paying council tax.
This is really just another example of using council tax as an excuse for an irrational, nasty, narrow minded bigotry towards people who, whether through choice, necessity or some combination of both, do not live within four concrete walls. A manifestation of the unpleasant values at the heart of a property-centric society.

Ellen
Ellen
6 minutes ago

But councils still let people pay council tax from the holiday sites when they are honest and admit to living there which is also against the law !!

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