The first two consultation questions covered the information required to be submitted with a licence application.
The Scottish Government proposal was that regulations would require an applicant for a licence to provide a range of information, including the address of the land for which the application is made, the applicant's name, address and date of birth, a correspondence address, information about any Manager or Agent and a contact address for the day-to-day management of the site. The regulations would require the same information to be submitted for first site applications, renewals, and applications to transfer a licence.
Question 1: Do you agree or disagree that the same information should be required for a licence application, licence renewal, and licence transfer?
Question 1 asked respondents whether they agreed or disagreed that the same information should be required for a licence application, licence renewal, and licence transfer. Responses by respondent type are set out in Table 2 below.
Table 2: Question 1 - responses by respondent type
|Type of respondent||Yes||No||Don't know||Total|
|Community or residents' group||5||5|
|Private sector organisation or trade body||1||1||2|
The majority of respondents (24 of the 29 answering the question) agreed that the information provided should be the same. Three respondents (2 local government respondents and a private sector organisation or trade body) disagreed.
Seventeen respondents made a further comment, fifteen of whom had agreed at Question 1. Reasons given for supporting this approach included:
- It would help ensure a consistency of approach amongst local authorities and site-owners. A single, consistent approach - particularly in relation to the 'fit and proper person' test - would also be less open to abuse.
- It will simplify the application process, including the checks that information remains the same as for any previous applications or licences held.
- By providing information with the application for transfer, the person or company wanting to take over is making a public declaration that they are aware of all the relevant issues relating to the site and confirms what they are taking on.
- It will be important to ensure that the information held about the licence is up to date. This approach, which has similarities to that for Houses of Multiple Occupation ( HMO) licensing, should ensure that any changes are captured and known to the licensing authority.
Suggestions made by those agreeing that the same information should be required were that:
- Two site location plans should also be submitted with each type of application. This was suggested by a local government respondent.
- A clear definition of transferee should be provided. This was suggested by a local government respondent.
A local government respondent that disagreed with the same information being required also highlighted the importance of up-to-date, accurate information being provided. However, they also identified certain practical considerations, such as the potential absence of a postcode until the Royal Mail accepts that the site will be an address to which mail will be delivered. This respondent went on to suggest that applicants should be permitted to reference previously supplied documents or plans where no change has occurred.
Finally, a private sector organisation or trade body which had not answered Question 1 made a further comment. They raised broader concerns about how the proposed system will affect the long-term viability of park home businesses and suggested that proposals around licence renewal are disproportionate and could prove onerous for smaller, family-run businesses in particular. They went on to suggest that, if the proposal for a renewal system is implemented, park home operators should be alerted that their licence is coming up for renewal - possibly through a written correspondence six months before the renewal date.
Question 2: If you do not agree, and believe that different information should be provided with different types of application ( e.g. for a licence application, licence renewal, or licence transfer), please [state the information you believe should be provided and give your reason(s)].
Six respondents made a further comment: three had disagreed at Question 1, two had agreed and one answered that they did not know. Those who had disagreed made the following suggestions:
- That the proposed list of information (as set out in the draft regulations) is appropriate for a first site licence application, but only for a first site licence application.
- A person wanting to have the licence transferred to them will be making an initial application and should provide information separately to the person seeking to transfer the licence.
- Information on the connection between the occupier and the site. For example, the occupier may be the owner, an employee of the owner, a tenant or, where an organisation is concerned, the owner and occupier could be different parts of an organisation. It was also suggested that this information should be required at licence renewal and transfer.
- Suitable planning consent should be demonstrated.
- Contact information should include telephone and e-mail contact details. It was also suggested that this information should be required at licence renewal and transfer.
Other comments included that the past history of the licence holder is of particular importance and that the time period for existing site owners to apply for registration should be shorter than the 2 years proposed. The local government respondent raising this issue suggested that 3 months would be appropriate.
Seven respondents made a further comment: three had disagreed at Question 1, two had agreed, one did not know and one had not answered the question.
Two private sector organisation or trade body respondents and a local government respondent suggested that it should only be necessary to provide information concerning any changes since the initial licence was granted. Other suggestions made were:
- If not provided at the initial application, the full postal address, including postcode, should be provided. It was also suggested that this information should be required at licence transfer.
- Evidence of repairs and maintenance being carried out should be required.
- Evidence that residents are satisfied with information provided on any increase in ground fees should be required.
- There should be checks that a licensee continues to be a 'fit and proper' person to hold a licence.
- Local authorities should consult residents or their association about a licence renewal.
Four respondents made a further comment: three had disagreed at Question 1 and one had agreed. Suggestions made were that:
- The applicant should demonstrate that suitable planning consent exists. It was noted that original planning consent could have been for a limited duration or be personalised and therefore not applicable to a new occupier.
- Information about who the licence is to be transferred to will be required or should be the only information required.