East Wittering building to be pulled down

An unauthorised building will shortly be demolished in East Wittering after the owners were prosecuted by Chichester District Council for failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice.

The notice requires the owners, Simon and Mary Green, to demolish the building, at Stubcroft Farm, and remove all rubble and debris.

The owners appealed against the notice, and the refusal of subsequent planning applications, but both a government planning inspector and the High Court upheld the decisions.

“Despite repeated requests by the council for the owners to comply with the notice voluntarily, they have failed to do so.

“The council will now appoint contractors to carry out the work and will place a charge on the land to recover the costs,” said a statement issued by the council.

“We don’t take decisions like this lightly and we always prefer to work with the owners in these situations,” added Cllr Janet Duncton, cabinet member for housing and planning.

Planning permission had originally been granted for a structure for agricultural purposes on the farm.

“However, when officers visited the site, the building was substantially different to the original plans and resembled a dwelling,” said the statement.

“An enforcement notice was issued as the development conflicted with local and national planning policies for the area.

“The Planning Inspectorate dismissed an appeal against the notice in January 2008, saying the building was not necessary or designed for agricultural purposes.

“The council considered applications for alternative uses for the building, but the owner was unable to demonstrate that the development was justified or appropriate for the rural setting.”

The owners challenged the refusal of the planning applications in the High Court. However, the case was dismissed.