DEVASTATED caravan owners are leaving a popular North Tyne site in protest.

It comes after owners of caravans 25-years-old and over were served notice at Hareshaw Linn Caravan Park, Bellingham.

The site is managed by Horizon Holiday Parks, formerly Ward Leisure, and was put up for sale in 2018 by the Duke of Northumberland with a £1.4m price tag.

Around 16 caravan owners have been told they must leave the site by January 31 after they say they were given assurances there was to be no age discrimination of vans and now others are said to be following suit - despite still having years on their licences over fears the same thing may happen to them.

"We love it", said Dawn Campbell, who has been on the site for six years and has to leave. "It's like a home away from home.

"It's just such a shame we're going to lose it. All of a sudden, out the blue, you've got four months to get off. We thought we were just going to be here and that was it. It's heartbreaking, it's just not fair."

Val Adams, whose been on the site for 11 years and also has to leave, added: "We're all devastated and angry at the dishonesty and under-handiness.

"I would never buy another caravan, you can't trust anybody."

The Horizon Holiday Park group has said it is aware of one instance where an owner has given notice of their intent to leave the site before the end of their current license period after a family member's license is not being renewed, but owners believe this figure stands at around four.

Both Dawn and Val fear price increases for those who do stay on site and say the move is 'profit over people'.

Michelle Ward, for Horizon Holiday Park, previously told the Courant: "It is our intent to uplift the park and push it to a five star site.

“Many caravan sites have a maximum 10-15-year site license agreements in place and a 25-year policy is generous.

"We are trying to minimise the impact of this by providing solutions but cannot mitigate away the fact that there are some old units on site that impact on the enjoyment of the entire community."

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