Landowner looks to sell Thorpe Island

Defiant to the end, Roger Wood, owner of Jenners Basin on Thorpe Island says he will continue to fig

Defiant to the end, Roger Wood, owner of Jenners Basin on Thorpe Island says he will continue to fight planning decisions against him.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A long-running legal battle over an island in the Broads could be coming to an end, with the landowner now looking to sell the site.

Roger Wood claims to have spent around £250,000 in court fees fighting the Broads Authority over historic planning rights for Thorpe Island.

For more than six years he argued he could legally moor boats in an area of the island, known as Jenners Basin, on the River Yare.

But the case has been before two planning inspectors and a High Court judge, who have all deemed the development unlawful.

Mr Wood, 74, said he was now looking to sell his part of the island, in Thorpe St Andrew, due to mounting legal fees.

'The cost of all the court cases has ruined me,' he said. 'I have no money left, and I have had to sell my pleasure boat and car just to keep going. I have bills to settle. I will put in a planning application and then probably sell the land.'

Back in June, the High Court gave him three months to apply for planning permission or boat owners living in the basin would be evicted.

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The Broads Authority, which sought a permanent injunction to clear the site, said he had until Saturday to submit an application.

Andrea Long, Broads Authority director of planning and resources, said: 'If the deadline set by the High Court isn't met, the legal process starts for the injunction which states the basin is required to be cleared within a further month.'

Mr Wood, a former tugboat captain, said he bought the land for £460,000 back in 2007, with an aim to make money from berthing fees.

He argued he had historic consent to rent out moorings, as the site's previous owner had permission for a marina. This time last year, there were more than 40 boats in the basin, but Mr Wood said only a 'couple' remained there now.

Do you have concerns about land near you? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.

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