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Justice for park home owners after three year campaign
A WOMAN who vowed three years ago to fight for park home owners’ rights is celebrating a monumental victory.
Sonia McColl, founder of the Park Home Owners Justice Campaign, galvanised support in a bid to close a contentious legal loophole that was allowing rogue park home site operators to snap up residents’ homes at a fraction of their true value.
Last week the Mobile Homes Bill cleared the House of Lords and was sent for Royal assent, a formality before becoming law.
Mrs McColl, of Wareham, said: “I am absolutely over the moon.
“With the support of what is now more than 15,000 park home residents who have become the Park Home Owners Justice Campaign, we have succeeded in getting our Mobile Homes Bill through both Houses of Parliament.”
Mid Dorset and North Poole MP Annette Brooke was a principal backer of the campaign.
She has since described her involvement as one of her proudest achievements in politics.
Mrs McColl, a park home resident, first decided to put an end to the practice – whereby site operators could interfere in the sale of residents’ homes – by starting a petition in 2009.
What followed was a long, hard campaign including various demonstrations, a number of marches on Westminster and, eventually, one-to-one meetings with government ministers.
As the campaign gathered pace, scores of horror stories emerged highlighting a catalogue of abuses across the UK.
In some cases park home residents had been forced to sell for as little as £10.
Mrs McColl explained: “Not only is the Mobile Homes Bill set to remove the rogue park owner from the ‘approval of the buyer’ stage in the selling process of a park home, the bill also puts into place a framework to oust the rogues from the industry.”