A census report has revealed that an estimated 3,500 households and around 6,600 people, are living or spending an average of five or six months in caravans or chalets on the Lincolnshire district’s coast. Of these people, around 40% are, in effect, full-time East Lindsey residents.
ELDC’s deputy chief executive, Stuart Davy said: “We will now go through the detail of this study with our partners to look at how the information can be used to make our emergency plans more robust.”
From Mablethorpe to Skegness, along the coast, the key part of the research was having the students who were undertaking the study, performing face-to-face interviews with 374 of the households from across 12 sites. It quickly became clear that the longer-term residents tended to be the more elderly residents.
What makes this report so shocking, is the stark contrast with what the council had previously thought. Official recorded figures for those living in caravans or chalets from the 2001 Census, recorded just 550 individuals and only 270 households recorded for Council Tax purposes.
However, as many of the residents have other homes that they live in during the closed season, it is unlikely to be seen as illegal occupation of land.
Will the planning conditions, continue to control the closed season, with the dates varying from site to site? Or will they convert some caravan sites into eco-homes or chalets, or will they decide to allow all-year round residency on more sites?
(The cost of the study project, £19,140, has been met using funding from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) under its Pathfinder initiative.)
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