Park home company in 'bully boy' development row agrees to meet residents
A COMPANY at the centre of a row over the new luxurious mobile home park near Milford has offered to meet with fed-up residents who claim they are being bullied out of their homes.
Last week, the A&T reported how long-term owners at Solent Grange, which was formerly called Carrington Park, were having their lives made a misery by the noise, dirt and general disruption to their lives from building work there by new owner Royale.
Some felt it was a deliberate tactic to make them leave their homes before their long-term leases ran out. They also claimed that when they tried to complain to representatives of Royale at the site they were told: "If you don’t like it, leave."
But the firm has denied this and said it hoped to meet with residents who are not happy with what is going on at the site in New Lane.
It also said it had already contacted at least one resident mentioned in the A&T’s article to offer to meet him to discuss his concerns.
In response to last week’s front page story, Robert Bull from Royale said: “We would like to take the opportunity to stress that those mentioned in the article have holiday caravans on the original holiday park side of the site and are not permanent residents. These holiday caravans are clearly for holiday use only and not permanent residences or retirement properties.”
"These holiday caravans are clearly for holiday use only and not permanent residences or retirement properties.”
Royale is installing luxury pre-fabricated bungalows at the site, which borders Sturt Pond and has extensive views of the Solent and Hurst Castle, some costing £450,000. Only people aged over 45 are allowed to buy them. Royale is also planning to build a swimming pool and coffee shop.
Existing owners, some of whom have three to four years left on their leases, have complained to the parish council about building work at the site and the digging up of hedges along the border with Sturt Pond. Royale previously ran into trouble with New Forest District Council planning officers after erecting huge lion heads on brick plinths at the entrance to the site. It was ordered to remove them.
After hearing about residents’ concerns at a recent parish council meeting, councillors agreed to contact NFDC to make sure regulations were being adhered to.
It emerged after the sale to Royale last November that the site benefits from an agreement dating back to the 1960s allowing permanent residency, which the parish council say was a mistake and should never have been given.
Mr Bull said: “The people mentioned in the article have leases for holiday caravans, which do not allow year-round residential occupation. We feel this could have implied those mentioned in the article are being forced from their permanent homes, which we’d like to reiterate is not the case.”
Mr Bull said the firm’s door “is always open for residents to speak directly with the company about any concerns”. Royale also claimed it is working hard to minimise disruption while it redevelops the site in staged phrases.
It said it was allowing existing holiday tenants to see out the remainder of their leases on the site.