Inspectors are human too

An inspector took a pragmatic view in respect of an enforcement notice requiring the removal of two caravans on the Norfolk coast which had been sited there following the destruction of the appellant’s bungalow (DCS Number 400-009-887). The bungalow had been destroyed by a tidal surge in December 2013 and the case appears to have an intriguing backstory: “I do not propose to refer in detail to the criticisms made by each side of the other. For example, whether or not the appellant could have foreseen the events that left her homeless when she purchased the property, and whether or not the actions of the council contributed to the coastal erosion that led to the loss of that property, does not alter the position in which she finds herself.” says the inspector.

The council sought a compliance period of six months. The inspector understood the council’s need to protect its position by initiating enforcement action. He agreed that the residential use of the site was not compatible in the long-term with its location within a countryside policy area, as undeveloped coast, and within a coastal erosion constraint area. He saw scope for compromise, however. In the exceptional circumstances of the case the appellant’s request to extend the compliance period to twelve months in order to secure alternative arrangements was not unreasonable, he determined.

The following DCP chapter is relevant: 4.5361

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