« Putting the record straight | Main | Phew, what a scorcher! »

An Englishman's right to a Hut

Hutsman accused of flouting ban goes to court - Britain - Times Online

A man in a hut flouting a ban - probably a follow up to this story I thought:

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | When is a home not a home? When it's Hermit's Corner

A man's home is his castle. Unless, of course, the high court rules that a one-bedroom shelter under a corrugated iron roof cannot be called a home.
Stephen Grendon has been living in a 4.25 metre by 5.8 metre woodland shelter with a wooden veranda, which he named "Hermit's Corner", for close to 10 years.
Having experienced bouts of depression, he says he values "the simplicity of his unconventional lifestyle" in his Cotswold Valley home.
But yesterday the high court decided that Mr Grendon's home is not a "dwelling house" under the law (even by his own modest requirements), which means that, unless an appeal is successful, he will be evicted....
Years went by in relative peace and quiet before an enforcement notice was served indicating Mr Grendon did not have planning permission for "residential use". His defence was that the matter was time-barred under planning laws, as the building had been his dwelling for at least four years.... It is kept warm by a wood-burning stove, and while previously light was provided by candles, electricity has been connected.
The planning inspector had found there was no running water, bathroom or toilet. Mr Grendon had dug holes for a toilet and used a natural spring for washing and drinking.
..
The shelter was reroofed in 1982 and had the veranda and shutters added later. It also has a small window under the eaves, and a butane hob for cooking.
The building had not been constructed as a house and did not look like one, the inspector said.

The high court yesterday upheld the planning inspector's decision, with Mr Justice McCombe saying Mr Grendon's home "simply did not have the physical attributes of a dwelling house, even with the claimant's modest requirements".
The judge said the inspector had visited the site and was entitled to conclude it had not been turned into a dwelling house "by the mere fact of the claimant living there".
Mr Grendon, meanwhile, continues to live in the shelter in breach of the enforcement notice, and says he enjoys the peace and quiet.

Doesn't the Judge sound like a pompous fool - though of course he isn't, I add nervously, and you can imagine the planning inspector going home to his wife and 2.4 children living in their immaculate Barrett home in a nice cul-de-sac laughing over this as they sip their one, one-only-mind, glass of Pinot Grigio as she warms up a Marks and Spencer Chicken Kiev. Give me life in a hut anyday.

Oh and the Times story? Just a misprint,, it is about the League of Cruel Sports mounting a private prosecution against a HuNtsman...

Comments

It's hard to see what "planning" are hoping to gain here. Even assuming this judgement to be correct (which I personally doubt) the fact is he has been living on the site for so long that he can use the site for residential purposes.

It seems to me there could be no legal reason not to grant him planning to replace the structure with a normal house, regardless of any zoning etc in the locality.

Post a comment