Can a caravan site be a protected site?

Can a caravan site become a “protected site” where planning permission was granted after date of occupation agreement?

This was the question before the Upper Tribunal (UT) in (1) Ms Sophie Dean (2) Ms Emily Haggart (3) Mrs Annabel Harding (Applicants) v Simon Mitchell (Respondent).

On 18 July 2019, the three applicants applied to the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) in connection with a caravan site at Sunny Glade, Haycrafts Lane, Harmans Cross, Swanage, Dorset, seeking a determination as to whether an agreement between them and the respondent, Mr Mitchell, is one to which the Mobile Homes Act 1983 (as amended) applied.

The FTT considered that the issues raised by the application involved an important principle and were likely to be appealed further, such that the claim was more appropriately heard in the UT and was therefore transferred.

The issue of importance raised was whether the 1983 Act could apply to an agreement when the land on which a mobile home is stationed was not a protected site (within the meaning of section 1(2) of the Caravan Sites Act 1968) when the agreement for occupation was made but became a protected site during the period in which the agreement continued. 

The 1983 Act can only apply to an agreement under which a person is entitled to occupy a mobile home as his only or main residence. The applicants contended that their agreement with the Respondent did not confer on him the right to occupy anything at the site as an only or main residence, but only a right to occupy a caravan for seasonal use. 

The UT made the declaration sought by the applicants that the agreement between them and Mr Mitchell relating to the occupation of the site was not one to which the 1983 Act applied.

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