EMBATTLED caravan owners at Rookley Country Park have given a cautious welcome to plans by the park’s new owners, Aria Resorts, to compensate them over their redevelopment plans.
However, the owners say while welcome, the proposals are not where they expect to end up in their battle for fair treatment.
As previously reported, the plans mean current caravan owners are being asked to leave for a planned site redevelopment.
Aria Resorts say they plan to invest more than £30 million over the next four years at Rookley Country Park, as well as St Helens Holiday Park and Colwell Bay, and create up to 150 new jobs.
They pledged that at Rookley, they would set aside five pitches for existing owners with a demonstrable need, for example a terminal illness, or who could be made homeless. Licenses for the pitches would be renewed every year for up to five years.
They have also pledged to pay £1,500 for transport costs for caravans that need to be moved or a one-off payment of £2,500 for owners who may be made homeless but who are not able to relocate.
A company spokesman said: “Aria Resorts is committed to building a long-term relationship with the local community, creating jobs and growing the economy through investment and development.”
Island MP Bob Seely, who has campaigned on behalf of the caravan owners, said it was a step in the right direction and a sign of goodwill from the company.
Caravan owner Paul St John Martin said: “This is a start but it is certainly not where we expect to end up.”