Council secures injunction over residential use of caravans near Ashdown Forest

Wealden District Council has secured a High Court injunction in a bid to stop unauthorised residential use of caravans on a site close to the Ashdown Forest.

The local authority obtained the injunction in relation to the proposed development on a paddock in Hoadleys Stable, Hoadleys Lane, Crowborough.

In October 2021 Wealden refused planning permission for a change of use on the land, which would have seen three touring caravans be used for residential accommodation along with associated development.

While an appeal has been lodged with the Planning Inspectorate, the council sought an injunction to stop the unauthorised use.

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“The site is within 400 metres of Ashdown Forest and new residential use in such locations is a significant breach of policy,” the local authority said.

Wealden District Council’s portfolio holder for Planning Cllr Ann Newton said: “We are grateful to the courts as this ratifies our commitment to taking action against unauthorised breaches of planning control.

“People need to realise that when it comes to planning, it is not acceptable to act first and apply later. It will simply come back to bite them and likely lead to bigger problems.

“We operate a well-regarded and popular pre-application advice service. Most residents and businesses make use of this service and seek guidance and advice from our planning team.

“Where people press on and do not secure the necessary permissions, we robustly defend breaches of control through planning enforcement. These cases show we will escalate matters to court where there has been a serious contravention of planning laws.”

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