Residents at large holiday park in Northampton speak out against 'exorbitant' fees and 'increase in crime' on site
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A popular holiday park in Northampton is facing growing scrutiny and discontent among its tenants due to ‘exorbitant’ pitch fees and an alleged increase in crime on site.
Residents at Billing Aquadrome are expressing concerns about the latest blow – exorbitant pitch fees for the upcoming 23/24 season. While other residents have expressed worries about the safety and security of the park.
In what appears to be a stark increase from the previous season, one owner, who paid £4,650 for an 11-month stay this year, has been hit with a staggering bill of £6,445 for the upcoming year. This represents an alarming increase of almost £2,000.
The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “The mismanagement of Billing Aquadrome over the years has left the park in a dilapidated state, with numerous empty plots. It appears that remaining tenants are being burdened with increased fees to cover costs.”
A notable issue is the lack of communication from Billing regarding this massive price hike.
Earlier this year, Billing Aquadrome faced a significant change in ownership as Royale Resorts went into administration in July. Consequently, the parks were subsequently taken over by joint administrators, Daniel Smith and Oliver Haunch of Grant Thornton LLP, who have since been searching for a buyer for the sites. The parks were put up for sale. As of now, no buyer has been secured, prolonging the uncertainty for residents regarding the park's future.
In addition to financial concerns, residents are expressing worries about the safety and security of the park. Allegations of buglary, a lack of maintenance, and the presence of ‘undesirable’ individuals, including alleged drug users, are contributing to an overall sense of unease among the community.
Another resident, who also wished to remain anonymous, said: “They’re upping the ground rent and people are unsure what’s going on. There is no maintenance of the place; they don’t see to be concerned with fixing what needs fixing.
“A lot of people are starting to leave who have lived there for quite a while because they’re increasing their prices.
“People get caravans thinking it’s cheaper than buying a house, it’s not. It’s actually more expensive. It’s a lot less safe as well. People are getting broken into weekly.”
The resident added that those on the park have not yet been told whether or not they will be asked to leave this upcoming January for one month, as per their contractual obligation, due to it being a holiday park.
Concerned residents are set to meet at the Cogenhoe club on Saturday, November 18, to discuss these issues.
A spokesperson for the administrators at Grant Thornton UK LLP commented: “Daniel Smith and Oliver Haunch of Grant Thornton UK LLP were appointed as Joint Administrators of Billing Aquadrome Limited on 6 July 2023…Following their appointment, the joint administrators have continued to carry out their statutory obligations and are in discussion with a number of interested parties, with the view to securing a sale of these assets. Whilst the detail of these discussions remains commercially confidential, the joint administrators are confident of achieving a positive outcome for stakeholders and it remains ‘business as usual’ for the sites involved.
“Any fee adjustments for visiting these sites in 2024 reflect the increased costs of operating and improving these sites and remain below national inflation rates and indeed, below general market increases for similar facilities. Whilst any criminal behaviour is a matter for the local police, the administrators for the above venues maintain a zero tolerance approach to any criminal activity on those premises and will support local police in investigating any crimes wherever required.
"As required under the licencing agreement with the local authority to operate as a holiday park, Billing Aquadrome will close from 6 January 2024 to 6 February 2024. This is also in accordance with the terms and conditions that all customers have signed up to.
“Further information will be made available in due course.”