Shippam accused of a ‘smoke screen’

THE OWNER of an ex-admiralty research station has triumphed against a council enforcement notice.

Michael Shippam, a member of the Chichester sandwich paste manufacturing dynasty, was issued the notice by Chichester District Council in October, 2012, as he was accused of changing the building to a dwelling without permission.

He also appealed the council’s refusal to give him a certificate of lawful use or development (LDC).

The inspector Simon Hand quashed both the council’s cases, describing Mr Shippam’s case as ‘credible, precise, unambiguous and convincing’.

The council also applied for a full award of costs against Mr Shippam in both cases, saying his rebuttal to their case was mostly a ‘smoke screen’, concerning his previous applications for an LDC.

The council said he had failed to provide proper proofs, but Mr Hand said CDC was not put to any wasted costs because of Mr Shippam’s actions.

He therefore refused the council’s application for an award of costs against Mr Shippam.

In 1993, Mr Shippam purchased the property known as Castorfield, in West Ashling Road, Hambrook.

It consisted of a large brick and asbestos shed-like building and wooden tower, surrounded by chain link fences.

Mr Shippam began living in the building in 1994 and has lived there since.

In 2011, he made an application for a lawful use or development certificate on the basis he had lived there more than four years.

This was refused as the council said a continuous period of residency could not be demonstrated during this time.

Mr Shippam’s case relied on his own testimony, his brother’s and his son’s.

In his report, inspector Simon Hand wrote: “I am not convinced the council’s evidence amounts to much at all.

“There are some inconsistencies with the statements made by the apellant, but nothing to undermine the general picture built up.”

The council had questioned whether Mr Shippam had in fact lived at the property throughout this time.

The council had asked for the removal of kitchen cabinets, a sink, table, chairs, cooker, fridge, office chair, beds, wardrobe, chest of drawers, tables, sofas, wall mirrors, a washing machine, desk, and cupboard from the property.

Mr Shippam was described by the inspector as having a ‘somewhat colourful history’.

His family business was Shippam Paste, which his brother sold to an American firm, but continued as managing director until he retired in 1996.