8. ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
8.1 The final part of the proposals asked respondents to consider whether the proposed reforms should apply to all licensable sites as governed by the 1960 Act. The types of site to which the licensing proposals could be applied are:
- Permanent Residential Sites;
- Protected Sites - in practical terms protected sites are residential sites, privately ownedGypsies/Travellers sites and mixed use sites (holiday and residential) wherethe homes are protected under the Mobile Homes Act 1983. Protected sitesdo not include sites which are used exclusively for holiday use or can only be used at certain times of the year; and
- Holiday sites - including with restricted occupancy which are used only for holidays.
Do you think all of the above types of sites should remain within the scope of the reformed licencing regime?
If you think any particular type of site should be excluded from the new regime please give your reasons.
8.2 The majority of respondents (84 out of the 96 that answered this question) considered that all types of sites should remain within the scope of the reformed licensing regime.Those respondents who disagreed included both group and individual respondents. The group respondents who disagreed were of no particular type.
8.3 However, it should be noted that (as at Question 11) a number of respondents who did not submit their views using the standard submission commented that certain types of sites should fall outwith the scope of the reformed licensing regime. As a result, the figures for standard responses at Question 21 (as set out in the table below) are likely to under-represent the number ofrespondents who disagreed with the regime applying to all types of sites.
Question 21 - Total Responses
Question 21 - Group Responses by Type of Respondent
|Resident Groups or Resident Action Groups||4||2||0|
8.3 Most of the respondents who were looking for certain types of sites to be exempted wished to see the exemption applied to holiday and touring sites. Respondents seeking this exclusion included Site Owners (of both holiday and park home sites), Industry Bodies and some Individual respondents. In explanation, one respondent expressed a common view that the proposals within the consultation document are aimed at improving standards for permanent residents of caravan sites and that no evidence has been presented to suggest that the welfare of occupants of holiday sites is at risk under the current system of licensing.
8.4 Other arguments made in favour of excluding these sites included the following:
- Many holiday sites are small operations which operate on small margins. To apply a regulatory regime designed to rid residential parks of the handful of notorious, criminal park owners is entirely unreasonable; and
- Including touring only sites would particularly fall foul of the better regulation principles of proportionality and targeted focus.
8.5 Concerns were also expressed that the current proposals are not accompanied by an economic impact assessment and that the financial consequences of the proposed changes for holiday and touring park businesses, and by extension Scottish tourism more widely, have not been fully considered. One respondent wished particular attention to be given to how the proposals could impact on small and medium sized holiday parks. Other issues raised by respondents who wanted the Scottish Government to consider the possible impact of the proposals on the Scottish tourism industry included the following:
- Holiday parks make an invaluable contribution to the domestic tourism economy and that role should not be threatened;
- Holiday park owners already have every incentive to ensure their parks remain in a good state of repair etc. The holiday park business is very competitive and market forces ensure this as customers are free to choose where they take their holidays;
- The British Graded Holiday Parks Scheme, operated by Visit Scotland, provides additional reassurance to holiday and touring park customers. This quality grading scheme assesses parks' facilities and services; and
- Some rural businesses have diversified to include a small caravan site as part of the wider farm or estate business. The income obtained through means of diversification such as this is essential to ensuring viability of the central business.
8.6 Some respondents also commented on how the proposed licensing regime could impact on mixed sites. For example, one respondent suggested that where holiday/touring and residential pitches are covered by the same licence, there is no justification for any changes impacting directly or indirectly on the holidayaspects of the business. It was also noted that some holiday sites may have a very small number of residential pitches providing accommodation for park managers or staff and that it would not make sense to consider these to be mixed use sites from a licensing perspective.
8.7 Finally, a small number of respondents suggested that Traveller/Gypsy sites, and/or sites run by the local authority, should be excluded from the licensing regime.
Summary of Views on Additional Considerations
- The majority of respondents that answered the specific question about which types of sites should remain within the scope of the reformed licensing regime considered that all types of sites (Permanent Residential, Protected and Holiday Sites) should be covered under the new licensing regime. However, a number of respondents - including Site Owners and Industry Bodies made comments which clearly stated that holiday parks should be excluded.
- Respondents who wished to see holiday sites excluded often suggested that the proposals are aimed at improving standards for permanent residents and no evidence has been presented to suggest that the welfare of holiday site occupants is at risk under the current system. The financial consequences of the proposals for holiday and touring park businesses, and by extension Scottish tourism more widely, were also raised.
- Aberdeenshire Council
- Aberdeen City Council
- Angus Council
- Annsmuir Residents Association
- Ballater Community Enterprise Ltd
- British Holiday & Home Parks Association
- Chief Fire Officers Association
- Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar
- Consumer Scotland
- Craigtoun Meadows Holiday Park
- Dunroamin Caravan Park
- East Ayrshire Council
- Federation of Small Businesses
- Fife Council
- Fife Fire and Rescue Service
- Highland Council
- Independent Park Home Advisory Service and National Association for Park Home Residents
- Meadowhead Ltd
- Midlothian Council
- Millhouse Park Residents Association
- National Association for Park Home Residents
- National Caravan Council
- Park Home Legislation Action Group
- Parkdean Holiday Ltd
- Riverview Park Residents Association
- Scottish Land and Estates
- Scottish Water
- SLAB project, Moray and Nairn CABS
- South Ayrshire Council
- Springwood Estate
- Swallwell Holiday Group
- The Moray Council
- Visit Scotland
- West Lothian Council
Email: Patricia Campbell