Hundreds could lose money as Dream Lodge Group enters administration

Dream Lodge Group Image copyright Dream Lodge Group
Image caption Dream Lodge Group, which owns eight luxury lodge parks, has gone into administration

Hundreds of holiday park goers and investors have been potentially left out of pocket after a luxury lodge firm went into administration.

Eighty of the 121 Dream Lodge Group staff, who worked at eight parks across England, have also been made redundant.

Francesca Day is among those who bought holiday packages and is owed £3,000.

Administrator Deloitte was appointed by the firm’s Essex-based parent company, Walsham Chalet Park Ltd, after “a period of financial pressure”.

Dream Lodge Group runs Fornham Park in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk; Elm Farm Country Park in Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex; Norfolk Park Homes in North Walsham; Lazy Otter Meadows in Ely, Cambridgeshire; Blossom Hill Park in Honiton, Devon; The Sanctuary in Newbury, Berkshire; Hilton Woods near Whitstone, Cornwall, and Woodlands Park in Westfield, East Sussex.

As well as offering lodges to holidaymakers, the luxury sites – which boasted facilities such as indoor swimming pools and spas – were open to investors, who were promised “guaranteed returns”.

Lodges cost about £200,000 to buy but part-ownership schemes were available, which Ms Day said were “a bit like a time-share”.

Image copyright Francesca Day
Image caption Francesca Day enjoyed a family break with her partner, Steve Lister, and children Thomas, eight, and Rebecca, six, at the Norfolk park in August 2017

Although she did not own a lodge, the 45-year-old bought a 35-day holiday bundle that could be redeemed for stays at any of the Dream Lodge Group parks.

Ms Day has enjoyed two family breaks since purchasing the Signature Lodge package in 2017 – but still has 26 days left to use.

The accountant, from Sheffield, estimates she is owed about £3,000 but admits she is “one of the lucky ones”.

“Ours is a small loss compared to other people’s but I imagine hundreds and hundreds of people will have been affected,” Ms Day said.

“I’m gutted, really. The parks were perfect for family holidays and I was about to book again for April.”

Deloitte LLP’s Richard Hawes said they would be exploring “all options available for the company with the priority being to secure a sale of the business or its constituent parts”.

He added: “Where possible, all lodge parks will remain operational.”

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