Council tackles unauthorised development on agricultural land

Dodge bus on the site

Posted on: 9 December 2019

North Devon Council is tackling unauthorised development across the district following a successful court case for the misuse of agricultural land.

Council officers attended Barnstaple County Court on Thursday (5 December) where they obtained an injunction against Mr Garry Braund and Ms Tina Thorne of Honey Hill, opposite Collard Bridge, Snapper, Barnstaple for failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice. The notice was issued on 17 November 2016 following the creation of an unauthorised access and the siting and residential use of a Dodge Bus and touring caravan, together with the erection of three sheds on the land without planning permission.

The injunction requires Mr Braund and Ms Thorne to cease the residential use of the land and remove the bus, caravan and sheds before closing up the access and restoring the land to its former agricultural condition by no later than 17 November 2020.

Caravan on site

Sheds on site

Head of Place at North Devon Council, Michael Tichford, says: “Our officers work hard to maintain the environment of North Devon and make sure any development within the district is carried out in the proper way, this is achieved through the planning process. Anybody who is considering development of any type should speak to us first so we can advise the route they need to take. As highlighted with this case, not having the proper permissions in place for what you would like to do can be both costly and time consuming.”

The court case follows an unsuccessful appeal by the defendants to the Planning Inspectorate who also refused retrospective planning permission for the unauthorised development in August 2017.

The council offers a pre-application advice service providing anybody considering development within the North Devon district with the opportunity to discuss their plans with a planning officer before submitting a planning application. Information about the service is available on the planning pages of the council website. 

Information about planning enforcement including how to report a concern, the enforcement process in North Devon and notices issued, is also available on the website.

2 comments on “Council tackles unauthorised development on agricultural land

  1. Cameron says:

    I have submitted two pre planning applications at a £150 a time whereby I received no more than a office clerk copying and pasting of legislation in an email. I have a HNC in construction, level 3 cabinet maker and fluent in most construction methods whilst on the tools. So to receive an email stating somthing they themselves have little to no experiance is an absoloute out rage. I sympathize with individuals who are unable to afford rent, let alone a mortgage, therefore have been forced into this way of life.

    How to protect the enviroment: those that are treading lightly on the planet, allow them to do so.

    There should be rules (example)
    -Height restrictions of 2.8m
    No larger than a fixed percentage of the land or up to a max square meterage.
    -Sustainable materials sourced within a selected radius.
    -The build must be tied to the individual and when the individual leaves or dies the build should be removed.
    -No footings. There are alternatives foundations where concrete is not required.
    -off grid where possible

    The list goes on.

    The longer you have developers sitting on land and a general house shortage. We as a country are always going to have this problem.

    Think about it when you are in your gypsum product filled house. Who is the problem?

  2. Gillian says:

    Well done North Devon Council. Yet another victory in the fight against illegal buildings in this beautiful county. If everyone built where they wanted to by ignoring the rules, we would be covered in concrete.

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Posted in: Planning