Omar Park & Leisure Home Group

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Omar Park & Leisure Home Group's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Omar Park & Leisure Home Group is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.omar.co.uk

1OMAR PARK HOMES LIMITED |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE
Group Chairman
DeanWestmoreland
Kingfisher luxury lodge at
Clowance Estate
Established in 1965, Omar has become the UK’s largest
manufacturer of park homes and luxury lodges. Based
on a commitment to open communication and industry-
leading customer service, they have achieved annual compound
growth of 23 per cent since 2010 and currently turn over £55
million. Predominantly selling to last-time buyers, their growth
has been supported by an ageing population and an increase
in domestic holidays, both trends that are set to continue into
the future. Group Chairman Dean Westmoreland explains their
commitment to customers and how residential park homes
could be a solution to the housing crisis.
We are the UK’s largest manufacturer of park homes. Our product, which is
built to residential standard BS 3632, has existed since the early 1960s and is
principally purchased by last-time buyers for their retirement. As a business, we
were incorporated in 1965, four years after our founder David Pleszko built his first
residential home. Four years ago, we celebrated our 50th anniversary and 50 years of
trading heritage. We entered the holiday sector in the late 1980s, constructing our
robust, low-maintenance, residential standard units for the owners of holiday parks
to let. This style of park home has become known as a “holiday lodge”. Our homes
are designed to last over 50 years and so present a very attractive lettingproposition.
The company suffered during the credit crunch and in 2010, I acquired a 75 per
cent shareholding. Since that time, we have deployed a number of successful
growth initiatives that have driven a turnaround, resulting in 23 per cent compound
annual growth in sales and our return to a position of clear market leadership.
FACTS ABOUT
OMAR PARK HOMES LIMITED
»Group Chairman:
DeanWestmoreland
»Established in 1965
»Headquartered in Brandon,
Suffolk
»Services: Residential park
home and luxury lodge
construction and support
services
»No. of employees: 455
Omar Park Homes
Limited
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
2| OMAR PARK HOMES LIMITED
Asamanagement team, we are
incredibly proud of this achievement.
We have won ten national and
international awards in the last three
years, and our team has grown from
120 people in 2012 to 445 today.
Emphasising customer service
We don’t just sell a product: we
provide solutions, and our approach
to the marketplace is based on very
high levels of customer service. We
offer park development consultation,
ensuring that our customers,
particularly new market entrants,
develop their parks to the very
highest standards in full compliance
with planning legislation, park law
and best practice. We also provide
refurbishment services for existing
park homes and lodges and offer
upgrades such as decking via our UK
Sundecksbusiness.
Our success is based on long-standing
relationships. Our approach is simple,
straightforward and ethical. We believe
in clear, concise, open communication,
treating every relationship as a
partnership in which we seek to
addvalue.
We have worked with certain
customers for over 40 years, and, as
park home estates tend to be family-
owned businesses, we have developed
relationships built on trust and mutual
respect across generations.
As the sector has grown and more
investment has come in, we have
not forgotten our commitment to
these long-term customers. We have
helped with planning, site layouts,
business plans, cash flow projections
and finding the right contractors.
Our approach goes far beyond simply
providing a park home or luxury lodge.
We have learnt that people prefer
to buy from experts and appreciate
a value-added service. We strive to
be entrepreneurial and ethical while
acting as a solutions provider for each
and every park with which we work.
The growth of the sector
Park home living and the holiday lodge
market have grown significantly in
popularity over recent years. During my
time with the business, I have only had
one customer who decided park living
was not for them. My father spent the
last 18 years of his life living happily in
a residential park home.
Rogue traders have tarred the
industry at times and have received
a disproportionate amount of press
attention. People retiring happily
to park home estates are not
newsworthy. Despite these rogue
elements, 3,000 park homes and
4,000 luxury lodges are built every
year, and the overwhelming majority
of customers are completely satisfied
with their homes and the parks in
which they live.
The standard of our homes and
lodges, and the developments upon
which they are sited, has improved
immeasurably in recent years;
these rising standards have been
a major contributor to the growth
The Omar Group factory
We have
helped with
planning, site
layouts,
business
plans, cash
flow
projections
and finding
the right
contractors.
Our approach
goes far
beyond simply
providing a
park home or
luxury lodge
3OMAR PARK HOMES LIMITED |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE
we have seen. Many modern parks
are gated and come with security
cameras, blockpaved driveways,
beautifully manicured lawns and
insulation that rivals that of brick-
built homes. Our homes provide
an affordable downsizing option in
place of traditional bungalows, which
developers no longer seem to wish to
provide. Our sector has seen increasing
interest from private equity and
pension funds, with Rutland Partners
investing in Omar in 2017.
On the leisure side, we have also seen
significant growth as people invest and
buy into holiday parks. This growth,
and our expansion into the luxury
lodge market, has been driven by a rise
in staycations, a trend that continues
with the ongoing Brexit uncertainty.
A potential solution to the
housing crisis
Because of the growing popularity of
park homes, and the decline in the
construction of bungalows, residential
parks offer a perfect solution to the
housing crisis. Twenty years ago, one
in every ten homes constructed was a
bungalow, but, due to the rising price
of land, now it is only one in every
200. Older people prefer single-storey
accommodation, but we are simply not
building enough.
The housing ladder is blocked by
last-time buyers who need affordable
single storey accomodation to
downsize and our homes provide a
low-cost solution to this issue. We can
build and site a two-bedroom, two-
bathroom home for less than £75,000.
Bungalows now carry a price premium
because they are so scarce, and we
can provide a cost-effective alternative
that also provides an equity release to
support retirement. A study conducted
by Legal & General found that there
were 3.3 million last-time buyers in
the market looking to downsize. By
2022, 6.6 million people will be aged
over 75, and very few developers are
providing accommodation for them.
We can help to bridge this gap and
support the entire housing market in
the process.
Our future looks strong. As the
population ages, and staycations
increase, we foresee a strong future
for our business. To support future
growth, we have invested in our
infrastructure and in two new facilities
in the past four years. We now
have three sites and see ourselves
continuing to tackle the housing crisis
and expanding further. We currently
turn over £55 million and are targeting
an increase to £90 million. We see a
bright future ahead, offering the best
products and customer service and
collaborating with our customers to
deliver their dreams.
Because of the
popularity of
park homes,
and the
decline in
bungalows,
residential
parks offer a
perfect
solution to the
housing crisis
Finishing bays in our
factory
Park homes at Pant
Mawr Residential Park

www.omar.co.uk

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster