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Tonight, park-home residents who say they are living in fear of eviction.
It's horrible, horrible.
You've got it in the back of your mind all the time.
He is, in our opinion, Mr Nasty of the first degree
We're on the trail of the park-homes businessman accused of making
residents' lives a misery.
I am not involved in these sites. This is...
This is a trial by media, ladies and gentlemen,
and it's gone wrong.
And the toxic city that's been told to clear up its act and its air.
Welcome to Inside Out for the south of England.
First, one of the lovely things about life in a park home
is you own it but the running costs are much lower than
bricks and mortar.
Unless, of course, you're unlucky enough to live on a site
in West Sussex owned by one particular businessman,
where some residents say they live in fear of extortionate fees,
massive legal bills and even eviction.
The people living in these park homes have had enough.
People are frightened of him.
You know, frightened of him.
I'm going to make sure that we get together
and fight him for all we can.
They're getting demands for thousands of pounds,
and being threatened with legal action.
I was actually thinking about committing suicide.
I couldn't go on like this.
They believe they're being exploited.
Only a change in the law can help them.
Reform. Stop it.
Treat people fairly.
In this country, we believe in fairness.
I've come to meet Rose.
She lives on Marigolds Park in Bognor Regis,
one of six parks owned by Silverlakes Property Investments
Limited which is co-owned and run by this man,
Barry Weir. More about him in just a moment.
So that's for the maintenance? Yeah.
In the UK, park home residents own their home but not
the land it sits on.
They pay a pitch fee to cover the upkeep of communal areas.
However, here at Marigolds, residents like Rose
are constantly being hit with extra charges.
Another skip for ?290.
And we get charged for absolutely everything.
Every little thing they get and buy we have to pay for.
?50 here, ?13 here...
This is just a little taster of the paperwork you get, isn't it?
The pitch fee here is ?2,400 per year per home -
a third higher than the UK average - but still the extra
bills keep rolling in.
All work that is done on site, we get charged for.
Nearly all of them forwarded from Silverlakes Property Investments.
My husband had a stroke two years ago.
I think it was because of the worry of everything that's, you know,
going on in the site.
It's horrible. It's horrible.
Sometimes I could sit here and cry thinking, oh,
God, what have we done?
What have we moved onto?
When you buy a park home, you inherit the original contract.
Rose's original contract is signed by Barry Weir.
We've heard from dozens of people living across all six
of Silverlake Properties' parks, and they're all having
the same problems as Rose.
So how is this happening?
Well, a park-homes contact by law has to include certain terms,
and one of those terms clearly states that it's the obligation
of the owner of the park to maintain the site.
The hedge at this park in the New Forest is trimmed
and paid for as part of that legal obligation.
In fact, all the park owners we spoke to foot the bill
for this type of thing.
All, that is, except Barry Weir.
The law doesn't explicitly mention a financial obligation,
so his contracts include some unique clauses that allow him
to charge his residents instead.
Lawmakers say Barry Weir and the operators of his parks
are using this loophole to unfairly pass the financial buck
That's caught the attention of local MPs, including Sir Peter Bottomley.
It's quite clear that some park home residents are being exploited.
They're being exploited by intimidation, by bullying,
by costs, and by fees which aren't justified.
So, who exactly is Barry Weir?
?625,000 bought Dunderaeve for the Weirs.
In the 1990s, he appeared on BBC Scotland when he was renovating
a castle he'd bought.
It came with the title "The Laird of Dunderaeve".
I was a gas fitter.
I left school, took an apprenticeship...
Rags to riches!
Well, rags to riches indeed.
Barry's also a published author, and wrote this book,
He loves his Aston Martins.
In fact, he commissioned them to build one just for him.
It's worth more than ?1 million.
But classic cars and castles are a far cry from the lives
led by the residents of another of the parks Mr Weir owns.
Here at Orchard Park in West Sussex, they pay one of the highest
pitch fees in the country - almost ?300 a month.
It's the same story as at Marigolds - home owners
are being hit with extra charges on top of their already high
pitch fee and it's taking its toll.
Really, living here is bad for my mental health,
and I was off with stress because I couldn't sleep at night.
I was worrying about all these bills, and how I was going to pay?
Is he going to evict me?
Some people have been served eviction notices because they're
paying their pitch fee but withholding the extra charges.
But many residents we spoke to simply don't want any hassle.
You get a letter to say, you know, you owe this money,
and my husband's quite ill and he doesn't want any worry
about anything, so we paid it.
So this is beautiful!
Life should be good.
It is good.
You know, on this park, it's excellent.
Brian Doick is the President of the largest organisation of park
home residents in the UK.
What's the appeal of living on a park?
The appeal, really, is that it's a cheaper product to buy the home,
as opposed to bricks and mortar.
Brian was awarded an MBE for his years spent fighting
for park home residents rights.
You've helped a lot of people out at parks right across the country,
but how bad is Mr Weir?
I believe personally that Barry Weir is more than bad.
I've seen bills sent to a park for 35 pence for a light bulb.
I mean, that's how pathetic it is.
And he's, in our opinion, Mr Nasty of the first
degree against residents, and it's got to be stopped.
But far from being stopped, the demands for money
have kept coming.
I got a letter in May last year saying I owe ?3699.50.
Ashley Rivett lives in Bognor, on another of the parks owned
by Silverlakes Property Investments.
They tried to charge us an extra...
He received letters demanding money for legal costs,
but experts have told us that legal costs can't be charged
without going to tribunal first.
Ashley has never been to a tribunal, but he has been
threatened with legal action.
It made my wife quite ill and myself quite ill.
My wife threatened to leave me because of this money.
I was actually thinking about committing suicide,
because I couldn't go on like this.
Barry Weir says neither he nor Silverlakes Property Investments
sent any letters asking for legal fees.
But what he's not saying is that the six parks owned
by Silverlakes Property Investments are leased out to four
different companies, the directors of which are Barry's
three daughters and his accountants, and the demands for legal fees
come from one of those.
We wanted to put our allegations to Barry Weir directly,
but we kept being told the parks were nothing to do with him.
But it's Barry's name that's on the contracts -
he's the one who attends the tribunals and
inspects the sites.
We've tracked him down here to Guernsey in the Channel Islands.
I managed to catch up with Mr Weir after he'd done his shopping.
Hello, Mr Weir.
It's Jon Cuthill from BBC Inside Out.
Can I just ask you about the contracts that you have
between yourself and the residents of your mobile park homes?
Are they fair, do you think?
I don't have any contracts.
The lease, the freehold lands owned by, erm,
Silverlakes Property Investments, of which I'm a director and that's
it, it's leased to other companies.
They have the contracts, not me.
But you're still doing the park visits.
No, no, no. Hold on.
The residents are saying...
There are 300 people on these parks.
I know an awful lot of them they're very good friends of mine.
I go on to the sites to see them.
I don't inspect the parks at all. No need.
But do you think it's right to have pitch fees and then on top of that
management fees as well?
I have no idea what you're on about.
One of the only mobile park companies in the entire
country who do that?
All I can tell you, all I can tell you...
Everyone else says it should just be a pitch fee and the management...
No, no, no...
Now listen to this viewers at home, very carefully.
Listening ears on, as I say to my little grandchildren.
I am not involved with these parks.
Silverlakes Property Investments holds the freehold and leases it.
I am not involved.
Can I quickly just talk about the contracts? No!
I'm not involved in them, I know nothing about them!
End of story, guys.
I'm going home.
There we go.
Barry Weir - a man whose got nothing to do whatsoever with those mobile
Despite Mr Weir's protestations, MPs say
they are fighting to close the legal loophole that they say allows
the people on his parks to be exploited.
People like him should not be allowed to take actions like that,
and I intend with fellow MPs to make sure that some of the excesses
are ended and most of the abuses are stopped.
You think you move here for a peaceful settled
life in your retirement, but you don't.
In fact, I've never met a man like him ever in my life.
As ever, I'd love to hear your thoughts on that story.
Here's the e-mail address.
Still to come: Dorset's hidden treasures.
Normally you can't actually get inside Rufus Castle, but we've been
granted special access.
Next, take a deep breath - do you ever worry
about the air quality?
There is nothing to worry about here but Southampton is one
of our most toxic cities.
The European Commission just last month issued Britain
with a final warning - clean up your act or
face the consequences.
My name is Archie.
I'm ten years old.
My favourite thing in the entire world, erm...
I do rather like bouncing on the trampoline.
But there's one thing Archie's not head over heels about -
Now, today looks like a beautiful day, but a day like today
causes you a few problems.
Yeah, because the air is very flat and moist,
feels very tight round your neck, and all the bits that go off
into the rest of your body that lead off from your neck feels
like they are Tube stations and the train is stuck in them.
There is just a tiny little gap for air to get through.
Archie has a severe form of asthma.
Poor air quality can leave him struggling to breathe.
It's a real worry for his mum Kirsty.
On a day when there is an air quality alert, or on a day
like this when it's very still and so the pollution is pushed
down, he will generally be more wheezy on those days.
Fumes, car fumes, things like that.
Basically if it is a strong noxious smell,
that will start his asthma off.
The World Health Organisation names Southampton as one of the most
polluted cities in the UK.
Pollution is linked to 110 deaths a year in the city,
and costs Southampton's health services annually
an extra ?50 million.
Where there's more pollution, there are more cases of lung
and heart disease, and asthma.
One, it's absolutely disgusting.
Two, it makes me cough and its really annoying,
and I have to wear scarves and it makes me look like a marshmallow.
It makes me feel quite guilty that my choice of where to live
might impact Archie's asthma, and it does give me pause
for thought and make me worry.
To get an idea of how polluted the city is,
we've borrowed a smog-mobile.
This hi-tech electric vehicle hoovers up the air and tells us
what nasties are in it.
Duncan Mounsor is in the driving seat.
It definitely is something for people to worry about,
particularly people who may be socially disadvantaged,
and people that live in very built-up, congested areas.
You can choose the quality of the water you drink from a bottle
if you don't want to drink the tap water, and you have a choice,
but none of us can choose the air that we breathe.
So we have some more spikes here.
The smog-mobile is detecting high levels of nitrogen dioxide, or NO2,
a gas produced by burning fuel.
Most of what we're seeing today is from rush-hour traffic.
What sort of levels are we seeing this morning?
Well, I think we have seen upwards of 200 micrograms per cubic metre,
which is very, very high.
If those levels had stayed at 200 micrograms for longer then one hour,
that would be breaching one of the UK guidelines values for NO2.
And that's on a wet and blustery day, when typically air
pollution levels are lower.
Now a lot of people will think, if I am stuck in traffic,
it's all right, I'm inside my car, everything's fine.
Well, I don't think we can be lulled into a false
sense of security there.
You are essentially in a sealed box.
We have made measurements ourselves where the NO2 levels
inside the driver's cab can be up to 20% higher than they are outside.
To see the scale of the city's problem, you need some serious kit.
Dr Matt Loxham, a scientist from the University of Southampton,
is studying airborne pollutants.
The biggest ones that can get into our lungs are ten microns wide,
so that's about an eighth of the width of the human hair, so
tiny, and they're the biggest ones.
The very smallest ones could be about a 100 times smaller than that,
so about 1,000th the width of a human hair, and they don't just
get into the depths of our lungs, they can actually get
into our bloodstream.
And recently it's been shown it can get into the brain
and other organs as well.
We know that in young people who are born in areas
where there is a lot of pollution tend to be born with
a lower birth weight.
More people get asthma when they live in polluted areas,
and growing up we are beginning to see an association not
just with heart disease and cardiovascular disease
like strokes, but also suggestions that diabetes and Alzheimer's
disease and dementia might be associated with pollution.
What we need to know now is how this happens,
and what is it about the pollutants that are doing that so we can better
understand the problem.
The Government has told Southampton and four other cities in the UK
to implement clean-air zones by 2020.
That means penalty charges for the most polluting HGVs, buses,
and taxis entering the city centre.
But, surprisingly, it won't include private cars,
which by the council's own figures are a significant
source of pollution.
So, Councillor Christopher Hammond, why not?
This isn't about banishing the car forever more.
It's about encouraging people to, where they can, take that one bus
journey to walk to the shops rather than driving or cycling to work,
because usually it's quicker, you'll be fitter for it,
and that's a better way to go about it.
# All I need is the air that I breath...#
As well as busy roads Southampton has a busy port
with a dirty secret - heavy-fuel oil.
Scientists reckon one cruise ship emits as many air pollutants
as five million cars on the same distance.
Heavy fuel oil can contain up to 3,500 times more
sulphur than diesel cars.
So the port is a real worry for keen cyclist and clean-air
campaigner Colin McQueen.
Nobody has been able to monitor air quality
within the docks, and I think that's really regrettable.
We don't know how much they push out, but we do know, for example,
that container ship at the moment is berthed and it's running
at the moment on auxillary generators which are collossal.
So we have the poor air quality, but we have the noise
coming from them as well.
One solution being used elsewhere virtually eliminates air pollution
from ships whilst they're in port.
A growing number of cargo and cruise ships, including
the Queen Mary II and Britainnia, have the ability to cut
the engines and plug into a port electricity supply.
The only problem - Southampton doesn't have a socket.
Port Director is Alastair Welch.
In the cruise ship world, there's this idea of shore power,
and yet Southampton can't provide that facility at the moment.
Well, no port in the UK provides shore power for large ships.
The challenge has been in particular there is no one
standard for shore power.
That's now in place.
My background's very much in the aviation industry,
where it's quite normal that you'll plug your aircraft in
when you come onto stand and run off power locally.
I'd like it in place as soon as possible,
but we can't yet give a specific date, as we're reliant on working
with others to make sure we can work together to get to that place.
But I should emphasise shore power is not the only answer and that's
why we're working with solar power now, and working with hybrid ships
now, because all of them have a part to play for the future.
Currently the port does not monitor its own air pollution levels,
but this is about to change.
Do you have any plans to do your own monitoring on site?
We are currently exploring that right now, yes.
ABP and all the associated companies that work within the docks
have a responsibility to the residents of Southampton.
They are here to trade and we understand that
we're not anti-trade.
We want them to trade in a cleaner way.
There's no doubt a cleaner Southampton would be good news
for the next generation.
When I see the impact on children like Archie,
I think everybody wants to make air quality better.
It's annoying when people drive constantly, because the only thing
you have to do is get up a bit earlier, and, I mean,
like, getting up earlier, and that could help save the world,
and the asthma world.
Don't forget you can find out more about the show on Twitter.
We are at...
Now, finally, time for a whistle-stop tour
of the Jurassic Coast to find Dorset's lesser-known castles.
Actor and historian Craig Henderson is your guide
and he starts in Weymouth.
The World Heritage Jurassic Coast - 95 miles of stunning scenery,
stretching from East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset.
185 million years of history, written in its rocks and fossils.
But I want to introduce you to some man-made features -
the lesser-known castles of the Jurassic Coast.
They, for hundreds of years, protected Britain from invasion.
Castles at the cutting edge of design, and one that was perhaps
more of a vanity project.
Tucked down side roads on the outskirts of Weymouth is one
of the town's best-kept secrets.
This is Sandsfoot Castle, filmed by a Dorset enthusiast whose
footage has been described as one of the ten most beautiful
drone videos of all time.
# We left our sweethearts and our wives along that pier
# Cheer up, they said
# You'll soon return in half a year...#
This romantic ruin was saved by a lottery grant,
thanks to the determination of the council and local residents.
It's one of several on the south coast built by Henry VIII.
Back in 1500, Henry VIII fell out with the Pope big-time.
Determined to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon,
he was excommunicated, and went on to make himself head
of the new Church of England, and that, as they say, is history.
But it's a moment of time perfectly captured in
the ruins of this castle.
Due to his need to divorce, he fell out with the Catholic church,
and everybody knows the history in terms of his approach to most
of the monasteries, and, in fact, this building contains pieces
of stone that were taken from a nearby abbey,
and they can actually still be seen.
Now, because some of the outside stone has been taken away,
you can actually see the skeleton of this building,
how it was made up.
So there are a couple of stones, aren't there,
which are really obvious, can you just point them out to me?
We've got one over on the floor level they are, in the far alcove.
And then on this side, we've also got,
high on the tower there, we've got actually a nice,
curved piece of scallop stone that shows quite ornate carvings.
Henry is in a position, a difficult position.
His divorce has rendered him a limited from the Pope.
The Pope has two major allies in Europe, France and Spain,
and they have allied together and are looking towards Britain.
And Henry at that time chose to take defensive measures.
His intention was to secure safe anchorages, harbour points,
to prevent either raiding for commerce or potential invasion.
Now, what we have here is Sandsfoot at that time built on a promontory
overlooking what was then called the Portland Roads,
and it is now Portland Harbour.
Without the large harbour structure so it is quite easy
to sail into it and cause problems and move out.
We've got the port of Weymouth just adjacent,
merchantmen coming and going, really important for trade.
So what Henry did at that time was to build opposing castles,
so we have Sandsfoot on this side of the harbour, on the north side,
and we have Portland Castle on the south side.
They've got the ability to create a crossfire situation,
if any foreign ship or aggressor was foolish enough to move
into that arc of fire...
And also they could reach the entrance to
Weymouth harbour as well.
Henry was very keen on changing designs, taking ideas from Europe,
and artillery was developing very quickly at that time.
For a while, Sandsfoot was the cutting edge.
The only issue was that, as time went by, artillery improved
and became more mobile and more reliable, and, as a result
Sandsfoot fell away.
To a certain extent, it only lasted for maybe 50 years.
On the other side of the harbour, Portland Castle survived,
and was still in use during World War II.
Maybe it owes some of its longevity to the fact that it wasn't built
from the leftover bits of a monastery, but instead used
local Portland stone.
Even less long-lived than Sandsfoot was another innovative and older
castle that was built in Portland at the wrong place
at the wrong time.
What's left of Rufus Castle now stands at the end of the garden
of a clifftop bungalow, behind an impressive swimming pool.
Normally you can't actually get inside Rufus Castle,
but since it's about to change hands again,
we've been granted special access.
I suppose the most important features are the small
You can see them behind me.
These are in fact gun-ports.
This is one of the oldest buildings anywhere that was actually
built to take advantage of the new invention of cannons.
And they would have used what were essentially large handguns
within the building to defend it, and to stop invaders coming
onto the island of Portland.
At what point did this castle become obsolete?
Very, very soon after it was built.
We know it was built in about 1450, but less than 100 years later,
the castle was a nonentity, and was not even referred
to in the records when they built the present
Portland Castle done by the harbour.
As the years went by, Rufus Castle became a rich man's folly,
a place for picnics in the grounds of a brand-new Gothic style castle.
Pennsylvania Castle was built by John Penn, grandson of the man
who founded Pennsylvania in the United States.
Penn discovered Portland with King George III,
whose physicians had recommended sea-bathing
as a cure for the episodes of physical and mental
illness that plagued him.
Today, though, Pennsylvania castle offers a happy end to my journey
around some lesser-known castles of the Jurassic Coast.
Craig Henderson there and some of Dorset's wonderful castles.
That's it for now.
Until next time, bye-bye.
It's FA Cup action next week, but we're back on the 20th behind
the scenes of a rather special buzz on the Isle of Wight.
There is the kindness of people's hearts, where they do
give people a chance.
It certainly gets people of the streets and make them safe
and it gives them the chance to get their lives back together.
I'm Riz Lateef with your 90 second update.
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Police say they've stopped 13 possible attacks in four years.
There are 500 investigations going on at any time.
President Trump has signed a new version of his travel ban.
It affects several mainly Muslim countries.
The previous one ran into legal problems and claims