Use of CLs/CSs by non-members

Discussion in 'UK Touring' started by GJH, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    When this subject arose earlier this year I started corresponding with Natural England on the matter.

    On 2nd May I wrote to NE pointing out the wording of Q17 on page 13 of NE's combined guidance notes which states that "non-members may also use the site, unless there is an agreement between the site owner and the organisation that restricts its use to members only".

    I also pointed out (25th May) that the CC's own Rules admit that "members only" is simply a club rule not a legal requirement.

    On consideration, NE concluded that the Act does not prohibit non-members from staying at certificated sites but the decision to accept them or not lies entirely with the organisation that certified the site.

    Defra have now also agreed - “Having looked through our files I see that the line in question (however non-members may also use the site…) was added to the guidance by Defra in 2003. As such I consider this to be our interpretation of the legislation (only the courts can give a definitive view) and so I agree with your conclusion that the legislation does not ban non-members in the case of para 5 exemptions, and it is a decision for the site owner and authorising organisation.”

    So, if the CC and C&CC wish to restrict use of their CLs/CSs to their own members they are quite at liberty to do so but there is no legal requirement for them to do so. If other organisations (MCC and Fun for instance) wish to allow non-members to use their CLs there is nothing in law to stop them.
     
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  2. mariner

    mariner Funster Life Member

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    A friend of mine who owns a very nice CL site, welcomes none members. Non members are given a CC&C application form when they book in, but with no obligation to complete it.
    I'm sure many other owners do something similar, after all why would you turn away paying customers?


    :cooler:
     
  3. ourcampersbeentrashed

    ourcampersbeentrashed Funster

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    You got a more definitive reply than I expected, even though its not definitive well done
     
  4. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Defra are perfectly correct in saying only the courts can give a definitive ruling - that applies to all legislation. What is pleasing is that we have now cleared up confusion surrounding imprecise wording and have an interpretation of the legislation agreed by those who administer it. If it did ever go to court (which everyone seems, quite rightly, to want to avoid) then that agreement would carry a great deal of weight.

    The people concerned at Natural England and Defra deserve praise for having an open mind and the willingness to re-examine the question thoroughly. It does demonstrate, though, that thorough research and constructive presentation of evidence works :Smile:(y)
     
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  5. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    It was the same at a MCC CL we stayed at recently. The only thing they risk is objection from the exempted organisation, though I don't know if the C&CC has the same rigid approach to non-member use that the CC has. The MCC has always been of the view that non-members are allowed and that view has now been confirmed by NE & Defra.
     
  6. lunarman

    lunarman Funster

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    Have just read this in the MCC magazine and on the web site

    Organisations who are affiliated to the FICC
    Our Membership Services Committee have been in contact with Natural England to resolve the ‘Non-Members’ issue. They approached DEFRA for legal advice.
    We have now received a letter from Natural England stating that:

    “They agree with our conclusion of the legislation, that it does not ban non-members and it is the decision of the site owner and the authorising organisation”.

    “The Motor Caravanners’ Club will always welcome Non-Members to our CL’s and NS’s”.

    Also it has been established with Natural England that members of other camping and caravanning organisations who are affiliated to the FICC are welcome to use our CL’s and Night Stops which is good news.

    We welcome C&CC members to use our sites.

    Please note that this does not apply to rallies held under the Certificate of Exemption.
     
  7. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    MCC were in discussion with Natural England at the same time as I was. The letter they refer to is the one which went out to all Para 5 exemption holders after the advice from Defra had been received.
     
  8. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    The real issue for me was that Natural England were insisting that our CLs were strictly members only, even having to make reference on the CL website that they could not accept non members. While, at the same time not insisting the same for the MCC.

    All exempted organisations were written to a few weeks ago. So now it is a level playing field and the MCC cannot claim (as they did) to be the only organisation that allows non members to pitch. We may all claim the same if we so wish. The perfect result.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
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  9. Puddleduck

    Puddleduck Funster

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    An excellent result.

    Thank you very much for your hard work Graham and Jim.
     
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  10. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    THANKYOU to all who took up the cause with NE to clarify the position of certificated sites. if the opportunity is taken by all site owners and exempt organisations, it will open up the uk's network to a great many more people and potential members(y):clap::clap::clap:
     
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