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Operator of illegal caravan site fined for not having a licence

A man who operated an unlicensed residential caravan site on his land at Hawks Tor Kiln, Newbridge Lane, Bodmin Parkway,PL30 4BE has been successfully prosecuted by Cornwall Council’s Licensing Compliance Team.

On Thursday 9 January 2020 at Bodmin Magistrates Court David Barriball, aged 74, of Hawks Tor Kiln was fined £1,500 (reduced from £2,200 for an early guilty plea) for continually operating a residential caravan site without a licence over a period of at least eighteen months. He was also ordered to pay £3,500 towards the council’s costs and pay a £100 victim surcharge.

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Kevin Hill prosecuting for the Council informed the Court that between March 2018 and September 2019 the Licensing Compliance Team had repeatedly visited Mr Barriball in an effort to elevate standards and to help promote outstanding planning and housing issues. A caravan site licence and the conditions attached to it help to ensure the safety of residents living on caravan sites, some of whom may be vulnerable and at risk. Despite being warned of the consequences of operating without a caravan site licence Mr Barriball persisted in renting out thirteen caravans, some of which were in a dilapidated condition.

Mr Barriball told Magistrates that he had been experiencing difficulties with other departments of the Council regarding planning permission which he had not obtained before placing and renting out the caravans on his land. Despite the council giving advice and guidance to him on numerous occasions he had chosen to continue to operate in an unlicensed manner and with no planning permission.

Councillor Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection said: “We are pleased with the outcome of this case which sends a clear message that unlicensed caravan sites will be identified and advised on how to achieve compliance. In cases of non-compliance  prosecution will be considered. Residents on caravan sites can be at risk and the council has over the years tried to establish good working relations with the various caravan site licence holders. However we acknowledge that there are some caravan operators, both licensed and unlicensed, who can pose problems for both residents and the Council, and we are taking steps to address such issues.

“On this occasion however, despite having instigated both informal and formal action using a graduated approach to intervention, Mr Barriball failed to follow the advice, guidance and instruction on how to operate his site in a safe and compliant manner. The council will always adopt a firm but fair approach to licensing, but will prosecute when deemed it is appropriate to do so.’’

Story posted on 21 January, 2020