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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The first Welsh Assembly private members bill

Due to other members either working with an expected Government bill to change the law or failing to get their idea accepted by the Assembly, I find myself preparing the first private members bill to come before the Welsh Assembly following the referendum and the granting of new powers.

I am seeking to reform the law relating to Park Homes and fixed caravans so as to offer better protection to home owners. There is a huge amount of material on the problems faced by Park Home Owners and this will be added to later this year when Consumer Focus publish a major research study, including interviews with many of those affected.

The aim of my Bill is to regulate more fairly the process by which residential mobile home (park home) sites are managed and sold in Wales by removing the site owner/manager’s veto on sales. It will establish a model licensing and inspection regime which will introduce consistency and give licensing authorities the tools and guidance they need to effectively license, monitor and inspect park homes sites.

The Bill will also establish a requirement that site owner/managers must pass a “fit and proper” person test as part of the new licensing system. It will also establish an enforcement regime, placing responsibility on licensing and inspection authorities to enforce the licensing regime and to take action in the case of non-compliance, using a phased approach including financial penalties and introducing a criminal offence for interfering in a sale.

On Friday I travelled to Powys to join with Brecon and Radnorshire AM, Kirsty Williams in talking to two groups of Park Home Owners. The ideas in the bill were well-received. A draft bill will be hopefully ready within the next month or so and we will be going out to consultation on 25 May. In this case, as with many others, Wales is leading the way.
Super work Peter. Much needed law.
Great for residential but, what about those that only have 11 month holiday licence?
I use my lodge as a holiday get away all year round except February when the Parks close. Will the new law make the Park owner open the Park for 12 months and have all the protection of the up coming bill?
I am afraid that will have to be the subject of another Bill. I cannot do everything in one Bill, and this one is complex enough as it is.
No it will not make the Park Owner open up the Park for 12 months of the year. There are most probably planning restrictions that apply in that case. Holiday homes do not fall under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 or the Housing Act 2004 and will not therefore be affected by my Bill.
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