Deputy High Court Judge rules against unauthorised mobile homes in the New Forest National Park

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Published Wednesday 9 December 2015

Two men who have consistently breached planning regulations in the New Forest National Park were last week ordered to remove their unlawful mobile homes by a Deputy High Court Judge.

The two separate cases represent the Authority’s longest running enforcement investigations with one stretching back to before the National Park was created, following a series of unsuccessful challenges and appeals by the owners.

In the case of Avonside Farm, Southampton Road, Fordingbridge, the owner Colin Shutler was warned by the Judge that his assets would be seized and that he risked being sent to prison if he did not comply with an upheld enforcement notice and remove his mobile home, vehicles and scrap from the site by 4 April 2016.

Mr Shutler was also ordered to pay the Authority’s costs following the hearing before His Honour Judge Iain Hughes QC at Winchester Combined Court on 2 December.

In the second case which relates to a parcel of land off Lyndhurst Road, Landford, Robert Whitcher was ordered by Winchester Combined Court on 25 November to remove his mobile home, after his latest planning appeal was dismissed. Mr Whitcher was similarly warned by the Court that his assets would be seized and that he risked imprisonment if he did not comply with the enforcement notice by 16 September 2016.

Pat Wyeth, Chairman of the National Park Authority’s Planning Committee, said: ‘In a protected landscape such as the New Forest National Park it is right that we should bring such serious breaches of planning control to a conclusion.

‘Both owners have had ample opportunity over the years to comply with the enforcement notices and to remove the mobile homes. Their continuing failure to do so has had a very harmful effect on the character and appearance of the area as well as being an ongoing source of concern for the local communities.

‘This ruling sends a clear message that it is unacceptable to ignore the requirements of an enforcement notice and that such overt breaches of planning control will not be tolerated in the National Park.’

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Notes to Editor:

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect.
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contacts:

Hilary Makin, Communications Manager New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646608
Email: hilary.makin@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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