THE former owners of the Helwell Bay caravan site in Watchet say they are dismayed customers have not been given information about the closure of the site having done 'everything they could' to ensure a smooth handover.

The site hit the headlines after it emerged holiday makers had been phoning Watchet Visitor Centre to find out if the site was open following its sudden closure by its new owners earlier this year.

This came to light after John Richards of Watchet Chamber of Trade informed the papers of a dispute between him and the new owners.

The former owners say they are shocked and disappointed having done everything they could to ensure a smooth handover to the new owners, that some of their former customers with existing bookings have not received information about the current situation with the site.

The former owners ran Helwell Bay for 16 years and had not initially planned to sell before being approached about the site last year.

When the sale was agreed, the former owners were told the new owners would honour existing bookings at least until the end of the season.

"We did everything we could. We gave them all of our records and contact details we had bookings for, it was a very efficient system," the former owners said.

"Money from any deposits we had were passed on to the new owners and the site was up and running as a ‘going concern’ as stated in the terms of the contract of sale.

"We even spent £20,000 ensuring the electrical installation met current regulations.

"We gave the people they sent down for the handover a guided tour and details of all the workings of the site such as stop taps and the like."

The former owners say they are as hurt as anyone that some holidaymakers have not got the information about the site closure.

"We were very sad selling up. It had been our lives for 16 years, we had presumed they would continue the business and even left flowers and a card wishing them well taking it over. It was a shock when the site was suddenly closed but it is now up to the new owners what they do with the site.

"We are also extremely sad to see the site looking so neglected and vulnerable after all our hard work.

"Claims about the numbers of people turned away reported were exaggerated and unsubstantiated.

"We wish Mr Richards had come and talked to us and we could have explained the situation before going to the papers and that way potentially a lot of distress could have been avoided."