It's a Win! Dunton Park Residents Association - Update 8th July 2024

Pitch Fee Tribunal article from the Dunton Park RA website and published with permission of their RA secretary.

Dunton Court Main Entrance
Update 8th July 2024
Fantastic News for the Residents of Dunton Park, they have recently had the results from the Tribunal.
They won on six points, the judge agreeing that there had been a degredation of services.
The Judge awarded a reduction from 13.4% to 9.4%, this was not inline with residents expectations so the RA is writing to the court asking them to explain the breakdown of the reduction. There is the possibilty that they may appeal and request a bigger reduction.
A tempered win, however it shows once again that if a good case is put together by the RA and site residents then a win is possible.
Update 26th June 2024

Our friends on the Dunton Park RA have now participated in their Tribunal. The judge visited and inspected the site on 24th June. The nominated members of the Committee then travelled to Chelmsford to attend the hearing. (This is a similar process to that of the recent Tribunal Case won by residents living on Sandy Bay)

The RA are representing around 100 homes on the Dunton site in respect of the 2022-23 increase.

Feedback from the Dunton Park RA Committee is positive. One important decision by the Judge, was not to allow the Regency Area Manager responsible for the site to testify, as they had not been present on the site during the time period covered by the Tribunal. This situation had previously been rejected by the RA in writing to the court.

As soon as the Tribunal Decision is known the website will be updated.

Why does this case matter to Sandy Bay residents, Judges often refer to other cases when adjudicating. The more Tribunal wins by RA's, obvously provides Judges with more positive data to consult from the perspective of RA's.

It also gives all RA's across the country, who finding themselves in a similar unacceptable position with their park management or owners, proof that initiating or defending a Tribunal case can result in a potential win.


Pitch Fee Tribunal (May Update)
Note: The Pitch Fee in question is for 2023, RoyaleLife were trying to impose a rise in excess of 13.0%.
We're sorry to the 100 or so residents waiting for a conclusion to the pitch fee dispute. It's still rumbling on.

We appreciate everyone's frustrations at how long this is taking but it's out of our hands.

We had hoped for some goodwill from the new owner of the site in terms of negotiating an end to this. However, it seems they'd rather keep throwing money at solicitors than come to a reasonable and fair agreement with residents.
Here's where we're at.


Because Regency now run the site, the legal applicant (RoyaleLife), no longer exists. The solicitor asked if we'd mind changing names on the paperwork from Royale to Regency but we said we can't support that. So, he's made a formal application to the court to substitute names.

The judge asked us to provide any objections in writing which we did about 4 weeks ago.

In a nutshell we said how can a company be allowed to take over a case that applies to a period in time they didn't exist. The solicitor responded by saying some old Royale staff remain in the company but we've countered that by saying none of those people were key players in our site so can't be said to be credible witnesses. We have offered to expand on this at any hearing, including evidence.

We're just waiting for the judge to make a decision as to whether the paperwork can be amended. If he grants that then we expect the case to be heard in the next 5/6 weeks.

All this is a stark contrast to our friends at Sandy Bay. They were run by RoyaleLife but, like us, are now managed by a new company (a different one to ours). Their new management wrote to waive their new pitch fee completely and promised anyone who paid it would get a refund.

It seems clear to us that although we were promised a new era and a new ethos post-Royale, it's just more of the same. We suspect this is due to the fact that a lot of Royale's senior management have been re-employed by Regency. Sandy Bay's new management are lucky not to have ex-Royale head office staff and the difference in attitudes is huge.

There's growing unrest about all this across a lots of ex-Royale sites and residents associations are getting together to coordinate a response. We all want to sit down and talk to the new owner himself. The reason for Royale's downfall was not just about money, it was to do with the attitude and ethos of head office, and that needs to change if Regency are to be a success.


20:20, 30 May 2024 by Kelvin Dimond