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Help for owners of mobile homes
SUPPORT has been given to a mobile homes bill that will see residents have more security over their homes.
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland spoke in favour of the bill last week, which could have a positive impact on residents of Brook Meadow Park, in Wroughton.
The bill is designed to make changes to the Mobile Homes Act 1983 and the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 to prevent site owners taking advantage of vulnerable residents.
The changes to the legislation will see site owners face a ‘fit and proper person’ test and will also make it easier for residents to sell their properties on by making site owners have to prove why a sale should not go ahead.
Speaking at Parliament, Mr Buckland said: “Thousands of people have been suffering for too long as a result of the actions and the inactions of unscrupulous site owners.
“I include in that the residents of Brook Meadow Park in my constituency, in Wroughton.
“They have come to this House on several occasions and have spoken up powerfully about the problems they experience.
“This bill marks a welcome further stage in the process of recognising the fact that park homes are not merely goods or chattels to be bought and sold, but are the homes of thousands of our residents.
“I was particularly concerned with the issue of sale blocking.
“It is important to emphasise that the effect of the new provisions will be to reverse the burden of proof.
“The prospective buyer will no longer have to demonstrate their suitability; rather, it will be for the site owner to demonstrate, via use of the tribunal, that the prospective purchaser is unsuitable.
“When it comes to one of the most fundamental issues in the campaign waged by residents and others, I am absolutely delighted that a “fit and proper person” test for licensing is now part of the bill.
“That is something that we have heard about from residents time and again, and I know that they will be as pleased as I am to see those words.
“It also gives certainty to all residents concerned.
“That test will go a long way towards resolving some of the abuses that have taken place in far too many parks.”
The issue for residents at Brook Meadow Park has rumbled on since 2008, when a row erupted about the supply of electricity to residents.
Residents have campaigned for changes to the legislation by holding a series of meetings with Mr Buckland and speaking at Parliament.
Jessie Cushion, chairman of the residents association, said: “It would make a big difference to residents as they will no longer be stopped from selling their homes.
“We are hoping the bill will be passed by spring 2013 and then it will give residents a lot more security.”