Decision Maker: Chief Executive
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Approval is sought for the adoption of a Fees
Policy for the Licensing of Residential Park Home Sites, which is
limited solely to a fee pertaining to the registration for the fit
and proper person test.
Applications are required to be submitted by residential caravan site owners between the 1 July and the 30 September 2021.
The Mobile Homes (Requirement for Manger of Site to be a Fit and Proper Person) (England) Regulations 2020 (Fit and Proper Person Regulations) bring into effect on the 1 July 2021 a new fitness and propriety regime for operators of residential caravan sites (defined as relevant protected sites).
Whilst the Regulations were made on the 23 September 2020, guidance pertaining to
it was only released on the 4 June 2021. Guidance is found at Appendix B.
Moreover, the Council has only recently been privy to guidance released by the Local
Authority Officers Caravan Site Licensing Forum and its template materials, for which
officers wished to gain sight of prior to bringing a report.
In light of the commencement date of the 1 July there is insufficient time to take a
report to Strategy and Resources Committee to consider the adoption of a fee for
application for registration and the introduction of an associated fees policy.
Relevant Protected Sites
A relevant protected site is a site, which requires a licence, which is not solely for holiday purposes or is otherwise not capable of being used all year round.
The Fit and Proper Person Regulations, require the manager of a relevant protected site to be a Fit and Proper Person from the 30 September 2021. Thus, local authorities are required to introduce a test for residential park home site owners, or the person appointed to manage the site. Site owners must apply to the Council to be added to the register.
The requirement of the test ensures that all site owners or their managers follow the best practice, and do not pose a risk to the occupiers of park homes.
Site owners will be required to submit an application between 1 July until 30 September 2021, and pay a fee adopted by the Council (proposed at £165.10).
It is further suggested that the Fees Policy for the Licensing of Residential Park Home Sites attached at Appendix A is adopted. Calculations in support of the fee proposed are contained at Appendix A of this policy.
There is the ability to create further fees for application, annual inspection etc., for residential park home sites. A report was taken before Licensing and Community Safety Committee on the 14 January 2020 with this regard and therefore it is not the first time in which this policy (now amended) has been circulated.
Members approved the launch of consultation pertaining to a selection of new fees proposed to be imposed, alongside the draft Fees Policy. Albeit, due to the pandemic, it was not believed appropriate to launch the consultation at that time.
In terms of an appropriate way forward the proposal is for the consultation on the additional fees to be now done separately to this particular report, given there is no urgency in respect of the implementation date on the other fees proposed. It will also be more prudent to gain consultation feedback from the residential caravan sites in question over the grant, transfer and annual fees which are to be proposed due to their elevated costs compared to this particular proposal or their ongoing nature. The fee for application for the fit and proper persons register lasts for a period of five years.
The Council currently has licensed 10 residential sites in the district for which fees may be payable pertaining to the fit and proper testing regime, and wider fees in respect of applications and inspections etc.
In terms of the fee to register for fit and proper person testing, it is imperative that the fee is included with the application for registration and failing to include this may mean that the site owner is in breach of the requirements of the Regulations.
Charges for registration must be limited to recovering the costs of exercising the fit and proper person test function only, this will include a number of checks, for example that the individual has right to work in the UK, and is clear of those relevant offences prescribed. A Basic Disclosure and Baring Service Check (DBS) check will be required by way of the application.
Calculations contained within Appendix A detail the officer rate and times associated with a breakdown of tasks involved in the application process.
Work has already been undertaken to draft material for the Council’s website, to create letters to site owners and to produce an electronic application form, therefore there are no additional resource requirements associated with this piece of work, other than to determine any applications received.
If the Council do not determine a fee prior to the 1 July 2021, it may be unable to seek registration of site occupiers/managers in compliance with the new regulations.
Failure to adopt a fee, would lead to a failure to recover £1,651 from the regime, based upon the fee proposed and the number of sites in question.
If a fee is incorrectly determined, the Council will be unable to recover appropriate monies to support the regime (in a cost neutral manner), or conversely if the fee seeks to income generate there is a risk associated through legal challenge by site operators.
Adopt the proposed North Devon Council Draft
Fees Policy for the Licensing of Residential Park Home Sites found
at Appendix A, which solely contains a fee chargeable for the
application for fit and proper person registration at
Do nothing – this will not enable to the
Council to gain site owners compliance with the new regime.
Adopt the fees policy previously submitted to Licensing and Community Safety Committee on the 14 January 2020 - rejected due to the desire to consult more extensively with site operators on the additional fees proposed.
Adopt an alternative fee – rejected – the fee generated has been suggested due to the calculations put forward as part of Appendix B.
Publication date: 12/07/2021
Date of decision: 28/06/2021