Families evicted from their holiday park homes
PUBLISHED: 06:56 11 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:52 12 October 2019
A holiday park has begun evicting residents who bought caravans and lodges after it emerged some had been living there permanently in breach of regulations.
Mid Suffolk District Council confirmed several families had received eviction notices from Stonham Barns as the park attempted to resolve planning issues which saw it threatened with court action earlier this year.
The business, near Stowmarket, has been subject to close scrutiny ever since authorities visited last winter and found up to 200 people - many of them older and with complex health needs - had been staying on the site all year round, contrary to planning regulations
MORE: Holiday park to be prosecuted over tenants staying on site all year round
Stonham Barns said at the time residents had been told about the regulations - although many claimed they believed they could live there permanently.
Since then, MSDC has been working with the owner, Alan Forward, to ensure Stonham Barns operated lawfully as a holiday park.
A council spokesman said that while the situation was "complex" officers had received enough information from the owner to withdraw the "breach of condition notice" issued in July, which could have seen caravans and lodges removed from the site if it failed to comply.
Despite the progress, the spokesman said there were "still issues to resolve" and the site had been issued with a "planning contravention notice" which requires it to provide further information within 21 days.
"This is a very complicated situation which may, unfortunately, affect some residents in the coming months. We continue to offer help, advice and support to any residents facing difficulties or concerns as required."
One former resident, who left before the evictions, said there had been an "unsettling" atmosphere at the site. "I am just pleased to close the book on that chapter and to have moved on," they said. "I feel very upset for any residents who are not in a position to move and are facing eviction notices."
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Peter Emberson, from nearby Stonham Aspal, said: "We all feel very sorry for the people who are on the site.
"We know people are going to suffer when they have to leave, but the authorities are stuck between a rock and a hard place."
Mr Emberson urged the residents to talk to authorities - which they so far had refused to do.
Stonham Barns did not wish to comment but has said previously that guests had been informed about the planning conditions and it would work with MSDC to resolve breaches.
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