Thorpe Island enforcement could be halted

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

Enforcement action against boat dwellers living on an island on the Broads could be halted for six months.

Representatives from Thorpe Island met members of the Broads Authority yesterday to discuss numerous issues surrounding the site.

The land has been at the centre of a long-running legal wrangle between landowner Roger Wood and the authority over historic planning rights.

Last month people living on the island, in Thorpe St Andrew, were told they faced eviction if they did not leave. But following a constructive meeting between both parties, a possible solution to settle the dispute could now be on the horizon.

John Packman, the authority's chief executive, said: 'There is an alternative way forward and that is to submit a planning application.

'An inspector did say it would be suitable for 25 boats. Is there a way of using your resources to develop a plan which we could share with the planning authority?'

Islander Gary Barnes said the landowner would never agree to a limit on the number of moorings on the island as it would not be viable. But he did accept that a fresh application for the island was a 'good idea'.

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He added: 'In order to do that we would need some time. I think it would be a good gesture from the authority to suspend any enforcement action. It would allow us to put all of our time and effort to working with you rather than against you.'

The authority previously said the moored boats, jetties and containers on Jenner's Basin on the western end of the island needed planning permission. But Mr Wood maintains he does not need permission because of the historic consent given to the previous landowners.

Both parties have agreed to consider appointing an independent planner to come up with a design for the basin.

The authority will also consider halting enforcement action for six months at a meeting in March.

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