Park operator fined

THE owner of a mobile home park next to the River Frome has been ordered to pay more than £33,000 in fines and costs for operating the site without the proper licence.

Wyldecrest Parks (Management) Limited took over Riverside Drive Park in 2021 and applied for a licence for 35 caravans.

Bristol City Council, which is the local authority for the site between Downend, Frenchay and Oldbury Court, asked for evidence of planning permission for the site to operate as a caravan park to support the licence application.

But the council said no evidence was supplied over the next year, leaving the authority “with no option but to pursue prosecution”.

Wyldecrest was brought before Bristol Magistrates Court earlier this year and fined £8,000, plus £25,000 costs and a £181 victim surcharge, for operating the site without a proper licence.

After the council’s summons was issued, Wyldecrest applied for a certificate of lawful existing use for the site, which was granted late last year, with a caravan site licence granted shortly afterwards. 

Council cabinet member for homes Tom Renhard said: “This is a case where a large company, one of the UK’s largest operators of residential parks and holiday homes, refused to work with officers to ensure their operations were legal and above board.

“Such practices call into serious question the commitment of the company’s management to operating safe and compliant sites.”

Wyldecrest has appealed to the Crown Court against the conviction.

Last year the company sparked complaints from neighbours when it felled up to 39 trees on the site.

An application to cut down another 26 trees at the site was made in January but rejected by the city council, which says it is investigating alleged offences of damaging trees subject to a Tree Protection Order over the past year.