The Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association (“CaSSOA”) is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a campaign to attract new members.
The association, which began with just 43 sites and now has a 558-strong nationwide network storing around 80,000 caravans, has reported a growing trend of commercial organisations – looking to diversify and generate revenue from unused buildings and land – joining the network.
Ted Young from CaSSOA says: “We have seen an increase in enquiries from transport, distribution, logistics and farming businesses looking to join the network as a means of diversifying to utilise unused space or where difficult economic conditions have impacted on the core business. One multinational company has even built the possibility into their business continuity/contingency plans and gone through the whole planning permission process so that the option is there should the need to diversify arise.”
According to Mr Young, the trend accelerated greatly in 2008 since all commercial buildings started to attract business rates regardless of whether or not they are being used. Caravan storage is a way of gaining some income from unused space and many of these businesses – particularly those with warehousing or vehicle forecourt facilities – also tend to have the required security measures in place already, so cost outlay in that area is minimal.
CaSSOA grades storage sites in three tiers – Bronze, Silver and Gold – according to the level of security offered.
Mr Young continues: “Caravans are a significant investment and as more and more owners see the value of storing them on a bespoke secure site rather than their front drive, the demand for secure storage sites will continue to grow. Added to this, many insurers now insist that a caravan is stored at a properly certified site – otherwise insurance could be invalid. Sites in our network store anything from 15 to 1,300 caravans, so we can accommodate most members if they can meet the security and planning requirements.