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Carharrack couple ordered to demolish 'unauthorised' home
12:00pm Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
A couple from Carharrack have pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice after building a residential property on land near the village without planning permission.
They have now been forced to pull down the wooden home.
An online petition backing the couple saw over 1,000 people sign in support.
During the hearing at Truro Magistrates Court on Friday, October 18, Daniel Roger Spencer Newman and Lora Elizabeth Newman of Trelowen, near Carharrack, were given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay partial payment of £1,500 towards the Council’s costs.
An enforcement notice was issued after the couple built a dwelling in the open countryside without planning permission in 2009. The enforcement notice required the Newmans to cease the residential use of the building and remove the building and all associated structures and other domestic items from the land.
The couple initially pleaded not guilty at Truro Magistrates Court in August, but later changed their plea to guilty.
“The house was built in an unsustainable location where planning permission would not have been granted,” said Hayley Jewels, the council’s enforcement group leader.
“The house was built in an unsustainable, open countryside location. Planning policies advise that housing should be situated within settlements and that isolated homes in the countryside will require special justification, such as an essential need for a rural worker to live at their place of work in the countryside which, in this instance, was not the case.
“The Council has tried to resolve this matter with the landowners since 2009, however this was unsuccessful and the Council was left with no alternative but to issue the enforcement notice and when this was not complied with, take court action.
“While we are pleased that this case has finally been brought to a conclusion, it is a shame that a resolution could not have been reached sooner without the need for legal action and the associated costs to the taxpayer.”
Writing on Facebook Mr Newman said: “The magistrates seemed to be a little aghast as to fact that the council were even prosecuting us for this matter and we were given a 12 month conditional discharge - which essentially means that if we do not go to court for any kind of offence in that time period we will face no fines or punishment.
"Cornwall Council asked that we pay around £3,500 costs to them which the magistrates considered too much and asked us to pay £750 each. So we've lost our home, have the conditional discharges on our criminal record and it has cost us a fair bit of cash but the court made their feelings clear.
"The chair magistrate stated at the start of her final comments that we have taken a piece of derelict land and turned it into something beautiful and productive and that young people need homes. Of course, she stated that was her view and not that of the courts but it was a clear message to the Council that they were in the wrong.
"We are grateful to the Courts for their sensible approach to this ridiculous case that has wasted thousands a thousands of public money, our money and time. Our thanks goes out to you all, and all our supporters worldwide for your help - just by showing that you care.
"We can hardly say that we have won, but we feel relieved and very bolstered by our barrister's firm belief that when we next try to secure planning permission that we will be successful. In the mean time we are going to live and work in France, we will return revitalised and refreshed."
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