An Essex woman’s attempt to house a Ukrainian family in her static caravan at a park in Dovercourt have been rejected by the local authority. We learn more…

A woman said she was ‘shocked’ to be told she could not house a family of Ukrainian refugees in her fully furnished, heated static caravan. Alison Bird had offered the two-bedroom caravan in Dovercourt, Essex, to a family of four who were squatting in squalid conditions in a single room in Turkey.

But officials said the static was not suitable due to the seasonal nature of caravans and the restrictions on year-round occupancy.
Ms Bird called for them to reconsider.

Meanwhile, she said she did not have the heart to tell the family. She explained: ‘I can’t add to their worries, so before I say anything to them I’m trying to get Essex County Council to do the right thing and to say ‘yes’ to our caravan and to look at each individual property on its own merit.’

She claimed the static could be used all-year round, was double-glazed, fully heated, newly decorated and close to local schools.
‘It would be perfect for this family,’ said Ms Bird.

She said she and her husband had planned to rent it out over summer but it was ‘far more important we house Ukrainian refugees than it is to make a bit of money from the caravan’.

A spokesperson for Essex County Council and other local organisations involved in the Homes for Ukraine scheme said: ‘A decision has been taken as a group, county-wide, that due to the seasonal nature of caravans, there are restrictions on year-round occupancy and other risks which make them unsuitable housing for refugees, particularly refugee families with children.’