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Court Orders the Demolition of Whittington Home Built Without Planning Permission

The Royal Court of Justice in London has ruled that a Whittington property that was built without planning permission must be demolished, ending a long court battle.

When Lichfield District Council won the dispute in London, it became one of the first local authorities to succeed in getting an enforcement order on the grounds that the property in question had been deliberately concealed.

Last year local council officers learned that in 2008 a single-storey home had been built in the green belt without planning permission having been secured first.

Squirrel Cabin, as the property is known, is in a remote and isolated spot on land belonging to Tamhorn Park Farm in Whittington. The only way to access it is by private road, which is secured by a locked gate, and trees protect it from public view.

A Cannock district judge granted an order for demolition before the property owners launched an appeal to the High Court, which finally ruled in favour of Lichfield District Council. The local authority received both the enforcement order and £14,000 in costs.


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Cllr Ian Pritchard, who is the Cabinet member for economic growth, development and environment, said he was pleased that the High Court had turned down the challenge mounted by the property owners. He said it sent a stern reminder that developers and other parties had to go through the proper channels before commencing any building work.

Cllr Pritchard said that evidence was presented in court that made it glaringly obvious that the landowners had taken extra measures to hide their unauthorised property from council officers. He added that the order should assist communities all over the UK to protect their local landscapes from unauthorised development.

After the order was granted, the council sent the owners of the unauthorised building an enforcement notice requiring them to demolish it.

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