Page last updated at 18:41 GMT, Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Lib Dem MP calls for park home regulation

Introducing a national licensing regime and a fit and proper person test for those seeking to own park home sites would help "increase protections" for some of the most vulnerable people in the community, a Liberal Democrat MP has said.

Stephen Gilbert, introducing his ten minute rule bill in the Commons on 10 January 2012, said the steps were needed to help protect those living in modern bungalow-style residential properties on private estates.

Mr Gilbert told MPs there were more than 2,000 park home sites within the UK, with the vast majority of the quarter of a million residents living in the accommodation as their only home.

Almost all the sites, he added, were privately owned and run as profit-making businesses, with sites able to be bought and sold "at the whim of an individual".

The majority of park home site owners, he stressed, conducted themselves in a professional manner and served the people they accommodated well, but the St Austell and Newquay MP insisted the actions of a "small, but significant number of site owners" should "no longer be ignored".

Mr Gilbert told MPs his bill would go some way towards giving park home residents "desperately needed" protection.

Conservative MP Christopher Chope spoke against the bill, telling MPs the licensing system would be "bureaucratic and heavy-handed", but did not force a vote on the matter.

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