Poulton-le-Fylde lodge owners are taking the electricity bill dispute to court

Image caption, Mike Chesworth told the courthouse owners they were afraid

  • Author, Yunus Mulla and Angela Ferguson
  • Role, BBC news

Lodge owners who previously claimed they were duped into buying homes on a holiday park have become embroiled in a dispute with the site owner over an unpaid electricity bill.

Buyers at Wyre Country Park in Lancashire told BBC Panorama earlier this year that they were robbed of their savings when they bought homes in the belief they could live in them full-time.

They have since said site owner Mike Welch had threatened to disconnect power within seven days if they did not pay the £46,000 bill, Blackpool County Court heard.

The BBC has approached Mr Welch for comment.

A judge granted the owners a temporary reprieve on the unpaid bill after an injunction was issued last week.

The court heard that Mr Welch had promised not to cut off the power supply.

Mike Chesworth, owner of one of the lodges, told the court: ‘Residents have faced aggression, bullying and intimidation, leaving them scared and unaware of what is happening.

“It’s gotten to the point where they don’t want to open doors anymore – that’s how scared it is.”

‘Protected means of livelihood’

District Judge Woosnam adjourned the case until September 5 to allow for discussions “to resolve the underlying issues.”

“What’s going to happen is that Mr. Welch is going to make a promise and an undertaking and then the order will be issued,” he told the court.

The lodge owners said Total Energies supplied the site owner and billed them individually, but they claimed Mr Welch had refused to give them an accurate breakdown.

They said this made the calculated amounts inaccurate.

Buyers told BBC One’s Panorama earlier this year that they had been wrongly promised they would be able to live on the site full-time.

An undercover reporter secretly filmed a salesman claiming that year-round living was allowed.

Mr Welch said the BBC’s contracts clearly stated it was a holiday park.

In the latest dispute, he rejected all allegations of intimidation or threats of eviction against owners

He told the court: “I just want to get this resolved.”

About a dozen residents attended the hearing.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Chesworth said: ‘We have protected the livelihoods and concerns of some very vulnerable people.

“I just hope he sticks to the order he committed to.”