Canterbury City Council has issued an enforcement notice requiring the removal of 37 static caravans from Moate Farm in Stodmarsh Road, Fordwich, which do not have planning permission.
Over the years, the owners of the land have secured planning permission for 20 caravans on the site, but since 2018 the number has increased to 57. In January this year, the council refused permission for the additional caravans to stay.
Since then, the council has been in discussion with the owners regarding the removal of the 37 caravans and had hoped this would be done voluntarily. However, this did not happen, and the council has now moved to issue the enforcement notice.
The notice, which was served last Thursday (22 July), requires the landowner to permanently cease using the land to station the additional caravans there and to remove them from the site. The legal process for serving such a notice means it will come into effect on Sunday 22 August, at which point the landowner has three months to comply. They also have the right to appeal against the notice.
The landowner has already made an appeal against the council’s planning refusal from January this year, and also has a separate planning application lodged with the council for the siting of an additional eight caravans for residential use (over and above the 20 they have permission for) and the storage of four touring caravans. This is under consideration at the moment.
Chairman of the council’s Planning Committee, Cllr Colin Spooner, said: “We always look to resolve planning breaches like this without the need for formal action, but regrettably this was not possible on this occasion. The rules around planning permission are there for a reason and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action when needed.”