QUESTIONS have been raised over the conduct of a company owned by Bromyard hotel owner and 'Gypsy billionaire' Alfie Best, although he has strongly denied claims of wrongdoing.

The BBC's Panorama programme, which aired on March 11, visited a number of park home owners in an episode titled "The mobile home swindle".

First on the list to be visited by reporter Rory Carson was Angel of the North Residential Park in Tyne and Wear, which is owned by Mr Best's company, Wyldecrest Parks.

Best owns dozens of residential parks across the country, including Saltmarshe Castle near Bromyard, while he also owns the Hop Pole Hotel in Bromyard.

The Hop Pole, for which Mr Best previously sought planning permission to make a variety of changes, has been a point of discussion for the town council in recent months, with enforcement action mooted over its deteriorating condition.


The Panorama programme's first interviewees, Cheryl and David, had bought a 'luxury' mobile home for £125,000 plus £7,000 for improvements last year, the programme said, but were met with problems including a missing door.

Seven months after buying it, they said, council enforcement action meant their home, which Panorama said had been on a "prime spot", had to be moved to the edge of the park. They say they were left with no steps, exposed electric cables, and brickwork had not been done.

According to Panorama, Mr Best said the couple's home being moved had nothing to do with the council's enforcement notice, and that the home was instead moved because the couple had an argument with a neighbour and picked their new plot. Reporter Rory Carson said this was disputed, but said internal repairs have now been made to the home.

The second visit was to Oxfordshire's Bayworth Park, also owned by Wyldecrest, where one resident says they were sold a home placed on the site by the company without being told that it did not have planning permission.

Mobile home owner Louise, who bought the home for £165,000 in 2020, says she only discovered that her home had no planning permission after buying the home, while Panorama says the local council had started enforcement action in 2016.

Best said the home had previously been sold to another resident and that Louise had bought the home from them, making it clear that Wyldecrest had not sold the home to Louise and that the company had offered to buy it from her.

Speaking to the Reading Chronicle in 2021, Mr Best said he believes park homes are the answer to the nation’s affordable housing crisis.

“If you categorically compare them, park homes are the solution to the affordable housing problem," he said.

“Compared with a like-for-like bungalow, park homes are at least 50-75 per cent less.

“One of the most important reasons why they are the solution is that they stay affordable.

“There are no land registry fees, no solicitors fees, they are in council tax band A which is the cheapest band, and on top of that electricity is 25 per cent cheaper.

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“You can live the life you’ve never lived in a Park Home, keep your money and live in a nice community.

“Ask yourself, would you prefer a brand new park home for £80,000, where you get the benefit of living in like minded community of other people, or living in a flat and pay three times as much?”

The programme, which is available on BBC iPlayer, goes on to explore further problems reported by people living on park home sites with permission only for holiday use.

Wyldecrest Parks has been contacted for comment.