Home with more than 60 cars outside compared to ‘scrap yard’ as inspector backs council enforcement action
The grounds of a house with more than 60 cars outside have been compared to a scrap yard after a planning inspector backed enforcement action against its owners.
Flintshire Council issued a maintenance of land notice to Kevin Pickford and Tracy Goodfellow in January following longstanding complaints about the untidiness of the area surrounding their home in Afonwen, near Caerwys.
The local authority demanded they get rid of an extensive list of objects, including cars, vehicle parts, plumbing pipes, boilers, building machinery and construction materials.
The notice also called for the removal of gas bottles, a metal stage, a filing cabinet and household rubbish from outside the property, known as Tangnefedd.
Mr Pickford and Ms Goodfellow made an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in March after a consultant acting on their behalf claimed the use of the land for storage was lawful as it had taken place for more than ten years.
But the inspector appointed to oversee the process has upheld the enforcement notice after witnessing the large amount of junk first hand.
In his report, Anthony Thickett said: “At the time of my visit, other than the access, almost all this land was used for the storage of vehicles (I counted over 60) and the items described in the notice.
“I lost count of the number of window and door frames and the number and variety of other objects is too long to list. The site looked more like a scrap yard than a residential property.
“I do not consider that keeping around 60 vehicles, in different stages of disrepair and dilapidation, some of which have clearly not moved for a considerable time, can be described as occurring though an ordinary course of events in the use and normal enjoyment of a residential property.
“Tangnefedd is a large house but I saw enough window frames to re fit a small street.”
He added: “The appellant argues that should it be claimed that a change of use has occurred the use of the site for storage began in 2006 and has been uninterrupted until the present day and, as a consequence, is immune from enforcement action.
“Neighbouring residents dispute this claim, there is no application for a certificate of lawfulness of existing use or development before me and insufficient information is submitted to enable me to reach a view.”
In an appeal statement, Eleanor Carpenter from Cadnant Planning said Mr Pickford had used the site to collect cars with a view to working on them.
Meanwhile, she said building materials were kept there to help refurbish the house.
However, Mr Thickett concluded the amount of items was “significantly in excess” of that necessary to renovate one property.
Although he dismissed the appeal, the inspector agreed to give the pair more time to clear the land by increasing the period set out in the notice to six months.
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
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