Rother District Council removes summer house from property near Rye


A COUNCIL has removed an illegally built summer home after a three-year battle with the 60-year-old homeowner refusing to remove it.

Rother District Council uprooted the building after a successful prosecution against Steven Earl for failure to comply with a planning enforcement notice.

A council spokesman said Earl had “repeatedly” refused to get rid of the house, which had been built on the front garden and driveway of his property at Reedswood Road, Broad Oak, near Rye, in September 2019.

In October 2019, the council’s planning enforcement team determined that the summer home had been built “before the main elevation of the property” and therefore required planning permission.

After failing to respond to letters from the council and a subsequent planning enforcement order, Earl was prosecuted by the council and pleaded guilty in court on December 14, 2021 to failure to comply with a planning enforcement order.

Earl was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,213.68 in prosecution costs and a £100 victim’s surcharge.

After the court case, the planning enforcement team wrote to Earl again, giving him until March 15, 2022 to remove the summer home.

When Earl refused, the agency took enforcement action, and on August 11, city planning officials, working with a specialist rehabilitation company, removed the structure, including its foundations, and restored the land to its former condition.

Councilor Jonathan Vine-Hall, Rother District Council’s Strategic Planning Cabinet Member, said: “This case shows that ignoring the local planning authority, and particularly the serving of enforcement orders, can have serious consequences.

“Earl has had ample opportunity to respond to our planning officers over the past three years but has repeatedly failed to do so which is why we have removed the summer house.

“This practice is not something we take lightly, but we will not hesitate when all other avenues have failed to avoid unauthorized developments that adversely affect residents.” Rother District Council removes summer house from property near Rye

Fry Electronics Team

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