Holiday site ruling leaves residents facing homelessness

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SCORES of residents at a “retirement” park are facing an uncertain future after councillors ruled they should not be living there full-time.

The owner of Lakeminster Park, near Beverley, had been seeking retrospective planning permission to allow 130 residents to live there all year round.

But members of East Riding Council’s planning committee rejected that request yesterday, leading to the possibility that they may be evicted, although an appeal could be lodged with a planning inspector.

Many of the occupants had sold their properties to move into what they thought would be their permanent homes and accordingly paid full council tax, but the council says they should only be used for holidays.

Some now fear they will effectively be made homeless in the periods when they are not allowed to live on the site.

The residents had a number of supporters, including Woodmansey Parish Council, but the Environment Agency was among those lined up against the application, and said the properties may be unstable during flooding, and the occupants would be at “special risk”, especially during winter when the flood risk is higher.

The Agency also said the development posed an unacceptable risk of causing a detrimental impact on ground water quality, and the applicant had not shown how this risk could be managed.

Residents claim the restriction to holiday use was not mentioned when they bought the properties, while others argued they had formed a strong community and contributed to the local economy.

They also said the properties were fulfilling a need for affordable housing for older people, and the council may have to rehouse them if permission was refused.

Planning permission was given to Flannigan Enterprises Ltd in 2006 for 169 “park homes for holiday use”.

Conditions state that the homes should not be occupied as a “sole or main place of residence” and are for “holiday purposes only”.

However the site licence dated 2008 states: “All park homes shall be used for human habitation all year round and for holiday use only.”

A spokesman for East Riding Council said: “The council will now be considering the next steps and what action is expedient and proportionate to take.”