Court rules Whittington property built without planning permission must be demolished

A property built without planning permission in Whittington must be demolished, a court has ruled.

Lichfield District Council won the battle at the Royal Court of Justice in London, becoming one of the first local authorities to successfully obtain an enforcement order on the grounds of deliberate concealment.

The issue came to light last year after council officers discovered that a single-storey house had been built with permission in the green belt in 2008.

Squirrel Cottage which was built without planning permission in Whittington

Squirrel Cottage which was built without planning permission in Whittington

The property, known as Squirrel Cabin, is in an isolated position on the grounds of Tamhorn Park Farm in Whittington. It is only accessible via a private road with a locked gate and is surrounded by trees.

An order was granted by a district judge in Cannock before the landowners appealed in the High Court – which has this month found in favour of Lichfield District Council, granted the enforcement order and awarded the local authority £14,000 in costs.

Councillor Ian Pritchard, Cabinet member for economic growth, development and environment, said: “This is a landmark ruling and we’re pleased the High Court has rejected this legal challenge, reinforcing the need to always go through the proper channels when planning any building work.

“In court we presented evidence which showed that the landowners had gone out of their way to conceal their unauthorised property from council officers.

“This judgment should help communities up and down the country to safeguard their landscapes from unauthorised development.”

Since the order was granted, the council has served an enforcement notice requiring the owners to demolish the unauthorised building.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

6 Comments

  1. JCJ

    15th November, 2016 at 8:16 am

    How sad for the owners. I would be gutted. Its hardly and eyesore.

  2. Rob

    16th November, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    “The property, known as Squirrel Cabin, is in an isolated position on the grounds of Tamhorn Park Farm in Whittington. It is only accessible via a private road with a locked gate and is surrounded by trees.”
    A real blot on the landscape.

  3. Georgina smith

    17th November, 2016 at 7:14 am

    “This judgment should help communities up and down the country to safeguard their landscapes” …….. so the council can build on it instead.
    Hardly an eyesore is it? It’s on a private road behind a locked gate. I know the owners did wrong. Heavily fine them but sad time see such a beautiful house go.

  4. Toast

    17th November, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Rules are rules. You break ’em, you pay the price. Simples

  5. Rob

    17th November, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Could have housed some tiny vulnerable Syrian refugee children in it.

  6. AgitatorofPeople

    18th November, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    They could have left it in-situ, claimed back the 8 years of council tax plus a fine and continued to collect tax on it. You would hope that the people made homeless will not be looking for alternative accommodation at public expense, but it’s the kind of thing this council would do just to “look tough” on planning.
    It’s just a shame that LDC aren’t so tough on building multiple bland “Luxury” 2 bedroom apartments and destroying local historic property while building even more in the process.
    The only way we can “safeguard our landscapes from unauthorised (needless?) development” would be to get the brooms out and sweep away the majority of Conservative local councillors that keep approving projects that their mates can cash in on. One rule for some, not for others.

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