Chalet owners win right to live at park

Gosport MP welcomes plans on homelessness but admits ‘it’s a significant problem’

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HOLIDAY park residents have won their long-fought battle for the right to live in their homes all year round.

Fareham Borough Council served enforcement notices on several chalet owners at Solent Breezes in Warsash last June, ordering them not to use the properties on weekends between November and February – forcing them out of their homes.

But three of the owners appealed and following an inquiry last month an independent inspector has now directed that the enforcement notices be quashed.

The residents are hoping this will draw a line under a bitter argument that has raged for years between residents and the council.

Maureen Joyce, 73, said: ‘Obviously I’m thrilled and relieved because I didn’t know what I was going to do if we lost – this is my home and I don’t want to think about moving again at my age.

‘This has been very stressful for us.

‘But we’re not celebrating quite yet. The council has four weeks to appeal, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

‘These are brick-built semi-detached properties, we are the freeholders and we pay our full council tax.

‘We’re not trailer park trash or something like that.’

Clifford Arnold has called the park his main home for more than a decade.

He added: ‘It’s the best news I’ve had for ages.

‘The rules did seem a bit ridiculous so this is great.’

The council had argued that allowing the holiday park to be used for permanent residence would change the character of the area and was against its policies on use of the countryside.

But in his final report, the inspector Colin Thompson said: ‘I do not believe that it is any longer reasonable to continue to prevent full-time and unrestricted residential use of the chalets.’

He added: ‘I acknowledge that allowing the appeal might set a precedent for other permanent residential uses within the holiday village... but I must determine these appeals on their own merits.’