Video and photo gallery: Walsoken couple watch their home dismantled

Enforcement officers dismantling Barielly Lodge in Walsoken. Picture: Ian Burt Enforcement officers dismantling Barielly Lodge in Walsoken. Picture: Ian Burt

Friday, June 13, 2014
11:31 AM

A nine-year planning wrangle ended as council enforcement officers moved in to dismantle a couple’s home.

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The home before being dismantled.     Picture: Ian BurtThe home before being dismantled. Picture: Ian Burt

A nine-year planning wrangle ended as council enforcement officers moved in to dismantle a couple’s home.

Rodney Wilson and his partner, Pamela Wenn, were on their way out when the 15-strong enforcement team turned up with police at their home at Walsoken, near Wisbech.

They worked quickly to dismantle the immaculate park home on Broadend Road, whilst Mr Wilson and Ms Wenn were frantically left to pack their personal belongings whilst watching their house taken down around them.

A distraught Ms Wenn said: “If they had arrived another 15 minutes later we wouldn’t have been here. They have jumped in before we have appealed against the decision.

“There has been no notification, no leeway, they just turned up - the council have treated us like scum, but what do you do?”

She tearfully added: “I have no where else to go.”

The couple moved to the site nine years ago when it was vacant, with a ban on development.

However after winning an appeal in 2011, they were granted permission to have put two mobile homes together but it emerged that the home, which had three bedrooms and a conservatory, was built 18ins too wide.

After an injunction was lifted which was in place pending the latest planning appeal, the council were in a position to take action.

A council spokesman said: “Mr Wilson stationed a park home on this site in 2005, without planning permission.

“We have attempted to work with him in an effort to resolve this situation and it is only after nine years that we are finally forced to take action to remove this building.

“We always work hard to find a solution to planning breaches to avoid the need for direct action, but in this instance we have been left with no alternative.

“The fact that the dimensions of the house are only slightly larger than would be the case for the largest caravan is not relevant.”

What do you think - should Mr Wilson and Miss Wenn been allowed to keep their home? E-mail natalie.copeland@archant.co.uk.

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