Agenda item



All Members stated that they had been lobbied.


The Development Manager presented his report outlining the enforcement options available to the Council following the refusal of retrospective (in part) application 19/502469/FULL for a material change of use of land at Pilgrims Retreat, Hogbarn Lane, Harrietsham from a mixed use of holiday units (180 static caravans) and residential (18 static caravans) to a residential park home site (for full time residential occupation) comprising the stationing of 248 static caravans, including engineering works to create terracing, hardstanding, retaining walls, and the extension of the site along the south-eastern boundary.


It was noted that the current unlawful use of the land was contrary to National and Local Plan policies and the recommended enforcement action sought to restore the site and its landscape back to the lawful use.  It was considered that the action recommended was proportionate taking into account the residents’ Human and Equality Rights and would maintain the integrity of the decision making process.  The residents’ welfare, health and personal circumstances would be considered if the notices were served and took effect before any decisions were taken for further action for non-compliance with the notice.


Before presenting his report, the Development Manager drew the Committee’s attention to a letter which had been received from an elderly resident at the site who wished to express concerns about the situation which had arisen.


Mr Rudd, for the site owners, Mr Green, for the site residents, and Councillors T and J Sams (Visiting Members) addressed the meeting.


Before making their representations, Councillors T and J Sams said that they lived next to the site.  They did not believe that they had Other Significant Interests, but, for transparency, they would speak and then leave the meeting.


In response to questions by Members, the Development Manager confirmed that a hybrid approach combining more than one option could be adopted.


The Committee agreed to proceed with a hybrid approach combining more than one option in order to seek to regularise use of the site and mitigate the impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in a pragmatic way, but within a specific timeframe having regard to the continuing uncertainties for the residents. 




1.  That delegated authority be given to the Head of Planning and Development in consultation with a Steering Group comprising the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Political Group Spokespersons of the Planning Committee (to include Councillor Chappell-Tay as the Spokesperson for the Conservative Group) and the two Ward Members to establish terms of reference and a negotiating position and to engage with the applicant regarding the submission of an alternative planning application within the terms set out in consultation with the Steering Group within a maximum timeframe of nine months.


2.  That if the application is not submitted within the terms set out in consultation with the Steering Group and within this timeframe, or if negotiations fail, then the Head of Planning and Development be given delegated authority to proceed with Option 1 as set out in the report which is to serve two Enforcement Notices (with separate red line boundaries) at Pilgrims Retreat, Hogbarn Lane, Harrietsham, Kent with the aim of achieving the following:


·  Reduction in the number of caravans on site to 198 - Compliance time 24 months.

·  Removal of all caravans, materials, rubbish etc. from the site as a result of the above – Compliance time 30 months.

·  Cease the permanent residential use of 180 of the 198 caravans that remain on site - Compliance time 48 months.

·  Restore the southern part of the site to accord with the layout plan as approved under 13/1435 (attached at Appendix B to the report) and remove all walls, domestic paraphernalia, retaining walls, hard surfacing and internal roadways etc. outside the developed areas defined on the plan - Compliance time 48 months.

·  Restore the site in accordance with a specified landscape strategy – 48 months.


Voting:  13 – For  0 – Against  0 – Abstentions


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