Holiday Park News: Falling profits and plans refused…

Holiday park operator Park Leisure has seen its profits fall after spending millions on improving its sites.

Park Leisure saw its pre-tax profits fall by 43% to £3.29 million before it changed hands earlier this year for £103 million, reported the Telegraph.

Turnover was flat at £57.8m, it said, but its cost of sales rose as did the amount it spent on administrative costs. Two sites, Heatherview and Kingfisher caravan parks, were also sold to rivals.

Park Leisure was sold in February to a consortium led by Midlothian Capital Partners.

It was founded 20 years ago by Miles Dewhurst and Gary Molloy and the company had grown steadily to 10 sites, but reached a point where funding more ambitious plans on its own would have proved more difficult.

“We had got to 10 parks by taking on a new one roughly every two years just using mortgages but that wouldn’t have been feasible going forward,” Mr Dewhurst told the Telegraph. “That would have meant us going from using one bank to two, three or four and we didn’t want to do that.”

Since Midlothian got involved, Park Leisure has snapped up a site in Bude, Cornwall, and is on the cusp of buying a site in Yorkshire for 150 of its luxury lodges.

raithwaite-estatePlans for Yorkshire holiday park expansion are refused

A North Yorkshire holiday park’s expansion plans have been dealt a blow after council chiefs turned down their bid to build 190 new holiday homes.

The Raithwaite Estate, near Whitby, had their bids for the new homes, as well as a leisure centre and restaurant, rejected by Scarborough Borough Council.

The council said their decision was due to concerns over the impact the scheme would have on nearby ancient woodland.

The development was also opposed by the nearby North York Moors National Park.

South coast holiday park battles for 12-month use

A holiday park operated by Hoburne Holidays has renewed its bid to secure year-round use on the site.

Hoburne Naish on the edge of New Milton is appealing the verdict made by New Forest District Council, reports the Bournemouth Echo.

The site is one of seven Hoburne Holidays sites across the south and the group had hoped to remove a planning condition to allow 12-month occupancy to aid business.

Present rules prevent the site from being used on weekdays for two months of the year, between January 10 and February 10, and between November 10 and December 10.

In their appeal submissions, the groups said that planning permission for 12-month use had been gained at four of their other sites in the past two years.

The company’s application for year-round use at Naish was turned down by New Forest District Council in April.

Concerns were raised by the council that if approved the site off Christchurch Road could lead to the park becoming an unauthorised residential caravan park, as well as producing enforcement issues.

Hoburne Naish said in its appeal statement: “It is not necessary or reasonable to have a closed season in order to prevent the caravans being occupied as a person’s main place of residence.

“Continued imposition of an eight-week closed period puts the appellant at a commercial disadvantage.”

The statement adds the council’s arguments over enforcement issues and potential for the site to become permanent residential accommodation are flawed.

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