A HEREFORDSHIRE hotel and residential park owner has spoken out after featuring in the BBC's Panorama programme.

Millionaire businessman Alfie Best, who owns Saltmarshe Castle Residential Park near Bromyard, as well as the town's Hop Pole Hotel and the Sapey Golf Club has accused the programme of "muddying the waters" in an exclusive interview with the Hereford Times.

His comments come after the programme which featured three parks owned by Best and his company, Wyldecrest Parks, aired on March 11.

Mr Best, who said he owns 109 parks rather than the 90 stated by Panorama, said people living in his parks had been left confused and worried about their homes after the show, which first focused on Wyldecrest's residential parks, then moved on to speak to people living at holiday parks owned by other operators.

The people living in the holiday parks featured in the programme, none of which belong to Mr Best or Wyldecrest, are at risk of potential homelessness.

Wyldecrest operates residential parks, Mr Best explained, on which people are allowed to live permanently, year round. These differ from holiday parks, which are subject to conditions requiring that mobile homes are empty for a specified period each year.

But since the programme aired, Mr Best said, he has received dozens of emails from people living in Wyldecrest parks asking if they are living in a holiday park.

"We have had more than 70 emails from people asking if they have to move out for a month a year," Mr Best said the day after the programme aired.

"It's actually caused more problems than it's answered."

Mr Best has also questioned a number of the claims made during the programme, including that a couple's mobile home was moved from a prime spot due to council enforcement action. Mr Best maintains that this was instead due to a neighbour dispute, and that the home was moved at the couple's request.


"We would not in normal circumstances move a home because of a dispute, but we agreed to in this instance," he said.

The programme's 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.

Mr 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.

"The sale is between the seller and the buyer," Mr Best told the Hereford Times.