Man, 80, devastated after being 'forced off' caravan park he used for more than 50 years

One retiree was devastated after he “squeezed out” the trailer park his family had been running for more than 50 years.

David Capper says his 80-year-old father had four weeks to buy a new trailer or it would be evacuated.

But David says his dad just couldn’t afford £ 30,000 or more for a new trailer and invested money to keep his trailer updated.

He says he is disgusted that someone who has been loyal to Shanlieve Holiday Park in Kilkeel for 51 years is being treated like this.

Speak with Belfast Live, David said the trailer has high sentimental value to his father, with memories of family vacations and time with his late wife.

David said, “I really can’t believe how my father was treated by this caravan park after being there for 51 years and being such a loyal customer.

“He was informed about four weeks in advance that he would need to buy a new caravan which would cost £ 30,000 or more, or that he would have to have his caravan removed from the site giving him a £ 1,000 discount on the cost of a new one for his old one.

“It’s ridiculous that someone my father’s age should raise so much money on a short-term basis, even though it doesn’t matter how old you are.

“All of this upset him very much. This trailer is a place where our family grew up, we would spend all summers there and the memories and sentimental value it has for my father are immeasurable. It was a place where he had memories of our mother and now they’re all gone. “

David said there were about 60 owners at the holiday park who were told the same thing as his father and it is an issue that affects owners across Northern Ireland.

He said, “Not only is Shanlieve doing this to the owners, it is happening across Northern Ireland and ruining the lives of the people who have invested thousands in these trailers.

Man, 80, devastated after being 'forced off' caravan park he used for more than 50 years 1

“Because of the pandemic and more people wanting to stay, many park owners have become greedy and are pushing people out so that others fight to buy new expensive ones because the previous loyal owners don’t want anything to do with them.

“Something has to be done soon so that caravan owners have more rights, because at the moment their circumstances seem to be able to change according to the mood of a pitch owner.”

Milne Holiday Parks, who operate Shanlieve Holiday Park, has been asked for a comment but has not responded at the time of publication.

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