Updates on the 14 latest enforcement notices against planning breaches in the Forest of Dean

Wealthy accountant Graham Wildin has been in the headlines over his refusal to bulldoze a massive ‘man cave’ built without planning permission in Cinderford. Despite enforcement notices and court orders, the huge structure which contains everything from a home cinema to a bowling alley remains at 24 Meendhurst Road. After his latest appeal against the order was dismissed by a judge before Christmas, the next steps are currently being decided by the council legal team.

It has taken four years but the building is still there to the dismay of neighbours who say it is an eyesore. “The council is disappointed that, having had a generous allowance of time, Mr Wildin has failed to adhere to the requirements of the injunction order,” said a spokesman for the Forest of Dean District Council. ” In light of this the council is considering what will be the most appropriate course of action.

Though planning enforcement continues, the current crisis introduces additional considerations.” The judge now has the power to jail Mr Wildin but the case illustrates how difficult it is to enforce planning regulations and how things can change. Only recently a farmer won a four year battle to build an abattoir at Dymock which had been opposed by councillors and local residents. and previously refused by an inspector.

We decided to look at current and recent enforcement cases currently ongoing in the Forest of Dean District Council area to see what is happening and found how difficult it is. Two were overturned on technical reasons over wording and maps that the council offered to sort out but were refused. Here are the cases.

Land at Greyhound Inn, The Slad, Popes Hill Tony and Carole Moulse bought the closed down pub, famous for having a dinosaur called Horace in the beer garden in 2017, and started converting it into a home. A knifepoint robbery and arson attack 12 months earlier had led to the closure of the pub which is in a hamlet on a main A4151 road and was a former Camra pub of the year.

The couple argued that it was unsustainable as a pub because the previous owners had not been making money and it was so badly damaged by fire it was no longer economically viable. But planners said they had not produced enough proof and the historic pub would be a loss to the community and turned them down. A government inspector agreed with the decision, which included rejecting a retrospective application for fencing which was described as “obtrusive” and “forbidding”.

The council issued an enforcement notice but the couple appealed in February and it is now expected to go to a hearing. Appeal Against the Enforcement Notice currently in progress 12A Coalway

An enforcement notice was issued after officials accused the occupier of running a timber /fencing business from a residential house. It says the timber fencing and shed-making business is incompatible with the community setting and the storage of materials and the parking of a 3.5 tonne, truck and other vehicles is out of character with the rest of the area. Air-compressed the nail guns and saws being used inside a shed like structure at the property cause “significant detrimental noise harm” in the village says the report.

The report also says neighbours have to put up with large vehicles dropping off and picking up products and a footpath being blocked. The notice issued on December 17, 2019 orders the occupier to cease using the property for business purposes and to remove all vehicles, equipment and tools associated with it within four months. Mrs Tina Minister lodged an appeal in January 2020 but no date has been set for a hearing,

Appeal Against the Enforcement Notice currently in progress Land at 9 Culver Street, Newent The enforcement notice was issued after councillors decided a small estate had been built without planning permission following unapproved changes made to the plans.

In November 2018 councillors ordered the developers to knock down all 11 part-finished properties and reinstate the mothballed site. within nine months. Notices were served on ‘the owner’ , Chrystallight Limited of Swindon Village, Cheltenham and Watin Ltd, a company with several addresses including Droitwich and the Isle of Man. Planners say the estate of 11 homes is detrimental to two listed buildings nearby and the Newent conservation area and the current layout does not provide sufficient amenity space, parking and gaps between various properties on the development.

Watin Ltd appealed in November 2019 and no date has been set for a hearing. Appeal Against the Enforcement Notice currently in progress Land at Cidermill Cottage,Drybrook

The enforcement notice against Mr John Timbrell and relates to a cabin in the grounds of Cidermill Cottage which is around 500 metres outside the village of Drybrook The enforcement notice says he has changed the use of an incidental outbuilding into a residential unit and the subdivision of the property impacts of the rural nature of the area. Officials have ordered him to stop anyone living there within six months and remove the building and all the fixtures and fittings associated with its independent residential use within 12 months.

The enforcement notice was issued on November 2017. Currently with the Council Legal team Land at Platwell House Farm, Platwell, Clearwell

The enforcement notices relate to two vehicular accesses and a driveway at the property. Charlie Rose and Kathryn Graham submitted an appeal against enforcement which was due to be heard in March but no decision has yet been taken. Appeal Against the Enforcement Notice currently in progress

Land west of Colliers Elm Farm, Bulley, Churcham
The council have issued an enforcement notice alleging a gypsy / traveller pitch was created without permission. They say it comprises of a mobile home, a touring caravan, a dayroom plus hardstanding and foul drainage. Mrs D Richards has appealed.

Appeal Against the Enforcement Notice currently in progress Land adjacent the old railway cutting, Oxenhall, Newent The enforcement notice was issued after part of an agricultural field was turned into a gypsy traveller site with dayroom, raised hardstanding and associated paraphanalia.

A stop order was issued when building first started on a field at Hawthorn Lane but a planning application was submitted. Officials say they had talks with the applicant beforehand to try and address the concerns of objectors but no settlement was reached. The application was refused in October 2018 and an enforcement notice issued.

Tina Richards issued an appeal in November 5, 2019. Appeal Against the Enforcement Notice currently in progress Land South of New Road, Blakeney

Notice takes effect on April 6, 2020 and requires cease the use of the land for parking and removal of materials and hardstanding. Land South of Phillips Lane, Redmarley Notice takes effect on April 6, 2020 and requires demolishing of access gates and fencing and removal of hardstanding, replanting of hedgerow.

Land at Kings Arms Inn, Ross Road, Newent Planners turned down an application to allow the pub to provide an overnight parking area for motorhomes in fenced area of the car park on highways grounds. After driving past and having to do a U Turn while visiting the site, the inspector agreed there was a problem with visibility at the entrance to the pub car park which is off the B4421 and close to traffic lights.

The inspector concluded that has motor homes would be larger than the usual vehicles and it would generate more traffic, it was not a good idea. . “Whilst there may be some economic benefits in encouraging visitors to the town these do not outweigh the highway safety issues which have been raised within both the initial application and this appeal.” Appeal Against the Enforcement Notice currently in progress

Land at 128A Church Road, Cinderford . In March Daniel Mason lost his appeal against an enforcement notice after he constructed a car parking area in front of his house without planning permission. The inspector visited the property and disputed Mr Morgan’s claim that the only development that taken place was the removal of a boundary wall and said it was clear that significant engineering works had been undertaken to remove earth from the raised garden to create a flat surface.

He looked at photographs from the council and said blockwork retaining walls, faced in red brick constructed to retain the newly exposed earth banks and the gravel hardstanding amounted to engineering and building operations that needed planning permission. Enforcement is now in the hands of the council Harts Farm, Chapel Lane, Redmarley

The council recently lost this appeal by Mr Jacob DeWit on a technicality after the inspector ruled it was invalid. Mr DeWit appaled against an enforcement notice issued in July ordering him to stop using an annex to the main house as a separate residential dwelling within six months. But he argued that the map was wrong and the inspector did not allow the council to put in an ammended version.

The inspector than quashed the enforcement notice saying it did not “specify with sufficient clarity the land which is the subject of the notice” and allowing the council to put in a substiture map would cause him an injustice. Appeal has been Upheld Land Adjacent to Boseley Court, Blaisdon Road, Westbury On Severn

Mr Harley Phelps also had an enforcement notice quashed on legal grounds. The enforcement notice was issued in October 2018 after planners a accused him of creating a large hardstanding and a storage yard for his business.. But he challenged the notice in court after officials made the mistake of saying he had to comply with some of the conditions by stopping ‘immediately’ .

The court ruled that they needed to give him a period of time and ‘immediately’ cannot be construed as a ‘period’ because it does not have a start point and an end point. The council offered to amend the order but it was quashed on legal grounds Quashed on legal grounds

Land North of Danford Lane, Hartpury – https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/two-gloucestershire-farmers-dig-themselves-3077606 No appeal made.

Currently live Enforcement investigation