At the Park, we are continuing to keep maintenance up to date, operate our security measures and even using the time to complete the finishing touches to the arcade and play area development projects. Most of our staff have been retained, either paid directly or using the Government Furlough scheme so we will be well placed to re-open as soon as that is permitted.
As the national period of lockdown has now been extended again, many Owners have asked about the position regarding on-site fee charges. We have continued to review the situation with the UK’s holiday park association and local authorities as well as consulting with leading national park operators.
The advice we have been given indicates that there may be no requirement to refund fees and any fees payable by instalments under annual site licences should still be due. Further, we are aware, although there are exceptions, that a number of park operators have followed this position and are not making any provision.
Nevertheless, we do not consider that to be a fair or reasonable position to take. Therefore, on an ex-gratia basis at the Park’s discretion, those owners, who have paid their 2020 site fees, will receive a credit for the period when they do not have access to their holiday homes. The credit will be calculated on a weekly basis at a rate of 60% of their site fees for each week (i.e. the total annual fee divided by 52 weeks). That proportion gives a substantial rebate whilst recognising the ongoing costs and investment to maintain the Park. We will commit to working on that basis for the period up to the end of June 2020 (unless Government restrictions are lifted sooner) and review the credit for future weeks depending on the situation at that stage.
The credit will be calculated at the end of each month and will be backdated to the 1st April 2020. The credit can be used to offset current bills or carried forwards to offset against 2021 site fees.
In addition, to further affirm our commitment to do all that we reasonably can to help our Owners, we are very pleased to confirm that there will be no increase in site fee charges for 2021. This should hopefully give some much needed financial clarity for the longer term.
Water and Local Authority Rates Charges
These are invoiced to you in May each year and as you know are based on the proportion of rates due for each caravan, as determined by the local authority, and a charge for water based on 2019-20 usage. We can confirm that Golden Sands has received a payment holiday on our business rates which will be passed onto all our caravan owners so the business rates will not apply this year and you will only receive your water charge on your next rates invoice which is due shortly.
Below is a Q&A which provides further information and we hope will cover most queries you may have.
LAURIE CLARK GENERAL MANAGER
Site Fees Frequently Asked Questions
What is happening with Site Fees?
Golden Sands is pleased to announce that we will assist our loyal Owners and give credit for the period we are closed, backdated to the 1st April 2020 and up to and including June, at which point it will be reviewed. If Government restrictions are lifted sooner, then the credits will cease at that point. This will be calculated by pro-rating your site fees over the period our park would normally be open. This is applicable for all Owners who have paid in full or are on our standing order payment option.
How much credit will I receive and when?
Golden Sands will allow for a 60% credit per week for the period that the main park is closed by order of the Government. Once this is calculated for your individual pitch, the amount will be credited to your Owner’s account on a monthly basis in arrears. Please note that when we are calculating any refunds due, we will take into account any outstanding balances on your Owner’s account.
Why 60% credit?
We recognise Owners should receive credits during the time their holiday homes cannot be used, but underlying expenditure to operate and maintain the park continues so we are unable to credit the full amount. A significant and sustained program of capital investment is also planned and committed every year and again, this is funded in part by site fee income each year.
Golden Sands is also working hard to maintain our grounds and have the holiday park kept in the best condition to open as soon as we are permitted to by the Government. This is also giving us the valuable opportunity to carry out routine mandatory testing around the park including underground infrastructure work. We also have additional security to cover 24 hours a day 7 days a week including additional CCTV to assist us with keeping the park and your holiday home safe and secure during this lockdown.
Further, the park is continuing to pay all the staff employed prior to the lockdown, either directly or through the assistance of the Government’s Furlough scheme. This means we will be in a position to re-open the park soon after restrictions are lifted.
I am paying by standing order – what do I do?
You will be expected to continue to make regular payments. Nevertheless, once your site fee rebate has been calculated you will only be required to pay the difference each month onto your Owner’s account. If you wish to continue to pay your original regular amounts, then the credit will be added to your account and can be used to offset other bills or would reduce the monthly instalments payable for 2021 site fees.
What if I let my holiday home privately?
Unfortunately, we are unable to compensate you for any amounts that anyone else would have paid you.
How long will this last?
This is probably the biggest question we are faced with at Golden Sands and is top of the national agenda. How long it could last we can’t say however we will continue to follow the Government and local authority’s guidelines. We, like you, will continue to monitor the situation and will continue to do our upmost to support you the best we can during this very difficult time.
We hope that you all stay safe and well and we cannot wait to welcome you all back to our amazing park.
From the GOLDEN SANDS TEAM