Social Welfare Lawyers in the Centre of Birmingham

John Romans Park Homes v Hancock & ors [2018] UKUT 249 (LC)

See our report of the First Tier Tribunal judgment below.

The park owners took possession action against the defendants. They argued that, since the park involved mixed residential and holiday use, it was not protected by the Mobile Homes Act 1983. A holiday site is outside the protection of the Act.

The Upper Tribunal decided that the First Tier Tribunal had been right to distinguish Berkeley Leisure Group Ltd v Hampton [2001] EWCA Civ 1474. Although the site in that case was also a mixed residential and holiday site, the pitches on which permanent residential occupation was permitted were specifically identified in the planning permission and site licence. The court held that where the permission and licence distinguished between different parts of the park as regards the permitted user, the park had to be treated as being sub-divided, and part of it could be a protected site. The pitch in question was not one of those on which permanent residential occupation was permitted, and it was therefore held not to be protected. In the instant case, the planning permission and site licence did not expressly restrict permanent residential occupation to specific parts of the site, and they did not require that a mobile home situated on any particular pitch should be occupied either seasonally or permanently. While it limited the number of pitches that could be occupied for permanent residential use, that was not the issue. Unlike in Berkeley, it did not distinguish between individual pitches and did not specify that any individual pitch should be for holiday use only. Rather, it permitted mixed holiday and residential use across the whole site and did not require any particular part of the park to be used for any particular type of occupation. Similarly, the restrictions in the site licence did not apply to specific pitches or parts of the park. The Upper Tribunal concluded that the whole of the park was a protected site to which the 1983 Act applied.

The barrister for the Hancocks was Jamie Burton of Doughty St Chambers and the solicitor was Pete Johnson of Laceys in Bournemouth.

See the judgment here: