Parks publish manifesto in support of UK holidays and housing

Debbie Walker says BH&HPA plans to discuss the implementation of its proposals with the new Government

THE BRITISH HOLIDAY & HOME PARKS ASSOCIATION (BH&HPA), representing the owners of around 3,000 holiday and residential parks across the UK, has published a pre-election manifesto setting out its plans to work with the next Government.

The park businesses, many of which are family owned, say they want to see priority given to revising planning, taxation, employment and energy regulations by the incoming Prime Minister.

The manifesto has been distributed to the leaders of all main political parties, and the association’s Director General Debbie Walker says its proposals could have far-reaching benefits.

It would encourage investment in rural and coastal communities, and encourage more people to take holidays in the UK.

The changes would increase the supply of good quality housing on residential parks. Park living is particularly suited to older people who want to downsize, which has the added benefit of freeing up much needed bricks and mortar family homes.

BH&HPA’s proposed energy reforms include expanding grid capacity to enable more parks to embrace sustainable technologies such as heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points.

Debbie says the association’s manifesto is a road map to supporting a parks industry that makes a vital contribution to the wellbeing of Britain’s rural and coastal communities:

“We want to partner with Government on reforming the planning system to encourage more private investment into park homes, increasing choice and freeing up bricks-and-mortar housing stock,” says Debbie.

Oulook is positive: parks such as Skelwith Fold in Ambleside, Cumbria, are supporting local economies and helping to sustain employment. The park’s luxury safari tents (above) are taking glamping to a new level of refinement

“Park homes offer good quality single-storey accommodation that can be made available far more quickly and affordably than traditional housing.

“We will also work with the next Government to create a fair and competitive tax environment that encourages domestic tourism and recognises its huge value to all types of local businesses.

“Our industry is also keen to address skills gaps in rural and coastal communities by providing long-term training and employment opportunities for people of all ages.

“Finally, we can support the Government in its efforts to reach Net Zero by highlighting where an expansion of the grid’s capacity will be particularly beneficial to local communities.

“Such expansions will give parks access to the power they need to support current and future demand, and to adopt new technologies enabling industry to decarbonise.

“We are looking forward to an early meeting with the new Government to discuss how our industry’s proposals can be taken forward,” said Debbie.

A recent independent economic survey revealed that UK holiday parks and campsites generated £12.2bn of visitor spending in 2022/3.

This figure represents a £7.2bn gross value addition to the UK’s economy with the parks sector supporting more than 226,700 full-time equivalent jobs.