Maurice Sines purchased Ladycroft Park in June 2001.
The site had 60 mobile homes on it. All were privately owned. A unit owner pays ground rent to Mr Sines who is responsible for maintaining the site and services.
By the end of 2004 thirty seven were still in private ownership with three plots vacant. The other twenty homes had been sold, all to Mr. Sines’ company, and rented out. Renters were served eviction notices before Christmas. They had one month’s notice to quit, ending 8th January 2005.
TO DATE Fifteen renters have left their homes. On 10th January the first of these was bulldozed. So far fourteen have been demolished or removed from the site. One empty home remains standing. Many hedges and fences have been torn down.
Six renters remain in their homes. Mr. Sines is legally required to obtain court orders before these residents are obliged to leave. As yet he ha s not produced any orders.
The thirty seven owners remain. Mr Sines has said he will need to move their homes to carry out redevelopment of the site. In the meantime he has told them to take down the fences, sheds and porches which they have had for many years, by January 30th .
The following is an extract from the advice that the Residents’ lawyer sent to Mr Sines on 19th January, 2005.
a.) You have no right to require residents to remove their fences, sheds and porches and you have no right to seek to remove them yourself.
b.) You have no right to require residents to move into another mobile home or to physically move their mobile home for the purpose of redevelopment.
c.) Your actions […………] amount to a breach of our clients’ right under their agreement to quiet enjoyment of their homes, for which our clients are entitled to an injunction and damages. We are also of the view that your actions may leave you open to prosecution for harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and (in respect of any further incidents) under the new powers of prosecution in section 3 of the Caravan Sites Act 1968 as amended by section 210 of the Housing Act 2004.
d.) You are in breach of your obligation in the residents’ written agreement to maintain the park which entitles them to bring a claim for an order for specific performance and/or damages.”
The police are monitoring the situation and have been on site frequently.
The Didcot Herald has published two articles so far, and there have been reports on Radio Oxford, BBC South Television and Central News.
If anyone has taken digital photographs of the site, please email them to [address now defunct]. If you have non-digital photos, please deliver or post them to [address now defunct].
The Silent Witness Group of 65 women has been set up to support residents .
A petition of 770 signatures was delivered to the Vale on Tuesday 18 th January. There are 700 households in Blewbury.
There is an email contact address [now defunct] for anyone to make comments, suggestions or offer help.
Help can be offered in many forms. Sitting with a frightened resident, helping with chores like cooking, ironing, washing up, distributing leaflets, professional expertise. Please offer your time and support wherever you can.
We are looking for a painting posse to paint the outside of a couple of the homes soon – a boost to morale. A couple of hours or offers of paint would really help.