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An Englishman's home

BBC NEWS | England | Somerset | Couple 'defying' demolition order

A couple in Somerset are refusing to demolish their bungalow near Taunton, despite a court ordering them to do so.
Richard and Linda Gosbee have been ordered to leave their house by midnight on Tuesday, after an extensive legal dispute with their local council.

Remember that a Judge ruled that Gypsies couldn't be evicted from their illegal homes:
Gypsies win human rights battle in the Court of Appeal - 5 October 2004

Lord Justice Wall said "The rights were to respect for the homes, which they had created - homes admittedly created in breach of planning laws,- he said. The council's "legitimate action" in issuing enforcement notices to get the families off the land was "an interference with those rights, and the question for the inspector was whether, under Article 8(2) the interference was justified and proportionate".

Of course I don't know the whole story but a pound to a penny the council are "mad, bad and dangerous to know" in exercising their rules - planners who needs them?
The destruction of someone's home is a huge and monstrous punishment - was their "crime" really that bad?
Someone ought to hold this bunch to account:
Sedgemoor District Council - Councillors
Cllr D. McGinty -
Conservative - East Poldens
The Barn, Moor Road, Sutton
Mallet, Bridgwater, Somerset
Tel: 01278 723208 - mobile:07802 706943
Email: Duncan.McGinty@Sedgemoor.gov.uk seems to be in charge of Planning, I think I will drop him a line.

Email sent:

I gather you are in charge of Sedgemoor's planners. I will also note that I'm not a local and don't know the full story. But I'm outraged that the council is using the courts to get a perfectly normal bungalow knocked down and ruining the owners lives - are you sure that "under Article 8(2) the interference (is) justified and proportionate".(To quote Lord Justice Wall)

It is drastic step to take - please think again!



If someone wins planning permission to build a new house on the condition that they knock the old one down, then sells the new house to someone else and continues to live in the old one, what would you suggest doing? (qn meant seriouly rather than rhetorically...)

"Abolishing planning laws" is a fair answer; if you're not a fan of that one, it's hard to come up with anything that allows the house to stand without telling people "you too can do this and get away with it".

The Councillor kindly responded with the background: And while it feels wrong I think I must accept that sometimes this sort of action may be justified under the present laws...


Judge Havelock-Allen at Bristol High Court, handed down judgment on May 7th on the long-running case of Mr and Mrs Gosbee and Sedgemoor District Council.
The judgment now requires, that by November 30, 2004, Mr and Mrs Gosbee should find alternative accommodation and demolish the bungalow, as per the original planning condition, set in 1993. Sedgemoor District Council believes that the Court has been generous in the length of time that Mr and Mrs Gosbee have to make alternative arrangements. Sedgemoor District Council was awarded £5,500 costs.
Sedgemoor District Council takes no pleasure in the fact that Mr and Mrs Gosbee are losing their home. Nonetheless, the authority is satisfied with the outcome of the judgment and has endeavoured to act as fairly as possible. It has refrained from taking the direct action that it was entitled so to do to remove the property, but placed the case before the Court to establish whether the request was fair and respected Mr and Mrs Gosbee’s rights under Human Rights legislation.”The Court clearly concluded “Mr and Mrs Gosbee are not the victims of unfortunate circumstances”, concluding “that they had, in large measure, manoeuvred themselves into their present predicament.”
The Court went on to say that Mr and Mrs Gosbee were granted an exceptional permission to build a replacement dwelling on neighbouring land, subject to a condition - which they accepted as fair and clearly understood - that if a replacement dwelling was built, their old house would have to be demolished at their own expense.The Court further found that Mr and Mrs Gosbee “at all events had entered into the sale of Little Acre with their eyes open”.
Background Information- The case at Shearston near North Petherton has been on-going for many years. The Gosbees live in a Woolaway bungalow that is outside of the permitted area for new development. Some years ago, they were granted permission to build a replacement dwelling on condition that the old Woolaway bungalow was demolished upon completion of the new bungalow. This did not happen as they sold the plot for the new bungalow to a third party and continued to live in the Woolaway bungalow, against the planning condition. The case has been to appeal several times. The Planning Inspectorate, which is an independent government agency, has looked at the case and decided to enforce the original instruction to demolish the Woolaway bungalow. One of the planning inspectors that looked into this matter on an appeal by the Gosbees indicated clearly that he felt they were the "the authors of their own misfortune".

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