caravan up against our boundary......

Discussion in 'Rural Diversification' started by Farm Hand 500, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. Farm Hand 500

    Farm Hand 500 New Member

    Hello all - apologies in advance for the slightly long and mildly boring read that follows........

    A neighbour of ours purchased a hilly field which is located beside a noisy main road from a local farmer around 13 years ago.

    Predominately she has used the field for her own equestrian needs, and to supplement her income she has rented out livery to 3 or 4 other locals. Recently, during the summer months she blatantly abuses the 28 day camping rule with some very unsuccessful campfire camping. This is due to the field sitting on top of a dual carriageway which non-surprisingly gathers some poor online noise reviews. Because of this the camping only attracts all male hard drinking youngens whose campfire smoke upsets her own horses! The jovial noise from the party makers which often goes on into the early hours also irritates the hell out of the three farmhand cottages nearby!

    Recently she sought planning permission for a 3 day festival in the 11 acre smallholding and along with stealing one of the locals husbands she is generally not a hot contestant for best person in the village award

    Now where do I fit into this story - well, we own and farm some land that borders this women to the rear of her field. We are the new kids on the block and fortunately do not suffer the noise pollution from her site as we live far enough away not to hear, but it would be fair to say that we do not get on with her.

    Recently this neighbour was granted a certificate of lawfulness for her stable block (four years usage) and a caravan (10 years usage as it was not resided in)

    The caravan sits less than a metre from our boundary, and as we are downhill the caravans above ground black and grey water drainage pipes flow directly down into our field causing surface erosion. When you partner this with all the rubbish and the wine bottles that she launches out of the caravan window into our field it is just really really nasty.

    Ignoring the environmental impacts of her drainage which we will address independently with the EA if we have no other recourse, the current mobile unit was sited just 8 years ago to replace a small 2 birth road towable caravan that had supposedly caught on fire (this happened a few years before we moved in).

    This small caravan had been there for a couple of years or so and that is how she is making claim for the ten years.

    The other surrounding neighbours have hounded her for ever for her retrospective planning techniques and so there is a sizeable paper trail which you can access from the councils website and according to this the original caravan was tiny.

    My question is can a certificate of lawfulness be invalidated due to the fact that there was a three month gap between the first caravan burning and the second caravan being sited.

    The differential in size between the two caravans cannot be compared like for like - one is the size of a baked bean tin and the second is a two bedroomed house static caravan!

    Additionally in one of her historical response letters she claims that the original caravan was sited as a tea room and to facilitate the birth of some new foals (the premise for the certificate of lawfulness) however since the certificate of lawfulness has been in place the newly sized larger premises has allowed the neighbour to have people living in the new caravan from which she now enjoys the additional rental income from.

    Well that’s about it, I would really appreciate some advice with the options available to us. We are keen to know if we have grounds to revoke the certificate of lawfulness as otherwise before long a house will appear there.

    I almost forgot the council had served an enforcement notice on her to remove the caravan but did follow through the enforcement and the 10 years passed therefore granting her this certificate by default.

    Thank you in advance for your help J
  2. Almost certain that she won't be supposed to let foul water just flow where she wants, you need to follow that one up quickly as unopposed these things can become allowed under customs and practice or something like that.
    I do have to wonder why you chose to move there with that kind of action on your doorstep especially as it seems to have been ongoing for years?
  3. JCMaloney

    JCMaloney Member

    LE3 9EU
    "had supposedly caught on fire (this happened a few years before we moved in)."................... answered ones question there I think.
    Nice me would be onto the EA ASAP and turn the tables of "officialdom" on her. The EA can then talk to the planning/council and ask questions of them...
    Thick Farmer likes this.
  4. Goweresque

    Goweresque Member

    North Wilts
    I thought you could only get a certificate of lawfulness for a dwelling if there was 10 years of completely uninterrupted use? Ie if there was a planning enforcement notice issued to remove the caravan before the 10 years was up that stops the clock, regardless of whether that enforcement notice was ever carried through?

    Edit: you don't get a CoL 'by default' either, you have to apply to the council for it, and thats when you have to prove the period of time of uninterrupted use. If the council have issued a CoL in defiance of planning law (ie by the applicants own submission there had not been 10 years of uninterrupted use at the point of the enforcement notice being issued) then you would have good grounds to get the CoL overturned in the courts.
    Greenbeast and TWi58630 like this.
  5. TWi58630

    TWi58630 Member

    Get the EA to send their local officer out and have a meeting with him/her and put your points across. They have powers to enter the land to inspect, advise, and if they think fit prosecute.
    If the water from the caravan is dirty ie from washing or sewerage you have the right to prosecute or ask the EA to prosecute. If it is clean water ie roof water you can do little about it apart from asking for the water to be put into an existing field drain or make a soak away to slow down the flow onto your land.
    When she purchased the land from the farmer did she apply for change of use?
    Has she got permission to operate a livery stable.
    Does she pay rates for the business?
    These three questions can be answered by your local council under The Freedom Of Information Act
    If she has not done any of the above the Certificate of Lawfulness may be void as she is using the land improperly.
  6. If your neighbour is disposing of waste over your boundary, FHS don't clear any of it up. Get plenty of photos (camera trap?) and report her to environmental health. If it is water pollution, the EA should be very interested, depending on your soil type.

    It sounds like she is unlikely to have planning for commercial livery, so probably hasn't waste transfer paperwork for hossmuck leaving her site and probably isn't paying income tax on the livery earnings etc etc etc...

    It all depends how much you want to fall out with her :scratchhead:
    Nearly, JCMaloney and TWi58630 like this.
  7. Grassman

    Grassman Member

    Sell up and move. Sounds like recipe for a lifetime of grief!
  8. Farm Hand 500

    Farm Hand 500 New Member

    Thank you all for your excellent advice...........I will persue the removal of this certificate of lawfulness as discussed on the grounds you have raised. Feeling quite excited :) ..................Thank you Thank you Thank you
  9. How much

    How much Member

    North East
    You should be able to see the rates status on line Google rating list and on VOA website enter the postcode of the stables you will get all rating valuations in that postcode from the website
    TWi58630 likes this.
  10. Pasty

    Pasty Member

    If the caravan is not occupied then it won't hurt if you put your muck heap next to it. Or a chicken run, with plenty of loose food and plenty of big, big rats.

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