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Lodge residents share eviction fears

By Fiona Reid
Lodge residents share eviction fears

RESIDENTS of a Beattock holiday park are worried they could be evicted after years of living there permanently and peacefully.

They are reeling after receiving letters this week informing them that their presence 365 days a year goes against the park’s operating licence.

For it turns out that Moffat Manor Country Park, at Craigielands, is only deemed a holiday park and does not have permission for ‘residentiality’.

James Wynd is 84 and has lived full time in a wooden lodge on site since 2006.

He said yesterday: “I have lived here for 18 years and now I am getting threatened with eviction.

“There are about 18 of us affected and we are all sitting here desperate.

“People have made it their home. I have nowhere to go and that’s the same story for my neighbours. That’s the predicament we are in.”

Mr Wynd owns his cabin and pays £5000 a year in site fees and gives the local authority £600 in annual council tax too.

He said: “I first came here in 2006 and came as a permanent resident, but it’s not in writing, it was given as a verbal arrangement by the original owners. They said we could call it residentiality.

“I have been paying full council tax for years and they have allowed us to live here for years.

“The council have let this slip for all these years. There are people older than me who have been here longer than me.”

Worried, he added: “’If the council say that’s it and it does not allow residentiality, they can move your home and put it on the street.

“If we are made homeless, where do we go?”

Neighbour Hazel Whatmough and her husband are in the same situation.

They have been residents for 14 years, also paying their council tax.

Describing the letter as ‘out of the blue’, she said: “We had been coming up here and I fell in love with the cabin and the owner turned round and bought our house in Blackpool and we moved here.

“We have not got the residential bit in writing, we have not got anything to say it was residential.

“Now we have to give them paperwork by June 12 showing we have another home or we will be breaking the licence rules.

“The worry is we will be evicted and we have nowhere else to go and love it up here.”

Moffat Manor Country Park is operated by Away Resorts and a spokesperson for the company yesterday said: “As the recently appointed owners of Moffat Manor, Away Resorts is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of all owner pitch licence agreements. Our primary focus is to ensure that all necessary paperwork is examined and duly validated, adhering to our commitment to responsible management and ownership.”

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