Ahead of our podcast with Stephens Scown’s Jowanna Conboye – on the changes to Data Protection legislation – we take a look at the legal firm’s predictions for holiday parks in 2017
2017 will undoubtedly be a challenging year for holiday parks. With the EU referendum result still causing uncertainty, the volatility in currency market impacting on foreign and domestic tourism, coupled with increasing fuel prices and the threat of terrorism abroad… it’s easy to see why park operators are a little unsure how 2017 will pan out.
Stephens Scown’s Kirstie Apps highlighted five main areas that park operators should be thinking about…
- Sales pitfalls: Kirstie says: “Many of our clients are reporting strong performance in their sales of static caravans and lodges.” However, she said it “pays to be vigilant and update your processes in this area”, stating that difficulties can arise from using incorrect paperwork to potential allegations of mis-selling and threats of enforcement action from local planning authorities.”
- Development and expansion: The installation of new facilities or expanding your park can be a major headache. The planning system is complex and can be frustrating. Kirstie says: “Our planning team has been exploring ways you could capitalise on existing permissions, which could avoid the need for the time and expense of new planning applications”.
- New legislation: As mentioned above there are changes afoot. The complicated changes to Data Protection laws will have a big impact on holiday parks – from how you send emails to how you store your data. Kirstie says: “Data protection should be given a high priority this year to ensure that you are compliant – and avoid hefty fines – when the new data protection legislation comes into force in 2018”.
- Renewable energy:Is this something you are considering at your park? Like the idea of a solar farm or wind turbine to help reduce running costs? Kirstie says: “An increasing number of our holiday park clients are investing in renewable energy, including wind turbines, solar panels and biomass boilers to help with their overheads, as well as using their cleaner energy credentials as a marketing hook to attract environmentally aware guests.”
- Buying or selling a park: Is this the year you buy another park? Or are you considering selling up? Kirstie says: “With any business sale it is important to have all of your paperwork up to date and ready to ensure as smooth a transaction as possible especially if there is a company involved. If you are contemplating selling or buying it is worthwhile taking advice at an early stage from lawyers and accountants.
If you would like more information on any of the aforementioned issues, contact Kirstie at Stephens Scown on 01392 210700 or email [email protected].