Thorpe islanders could face eviction if landowner does not submit planning application

Roger Wood, owner of Jenners Basin on Thorpe Island. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Roger Wood, owner of Jenners Basin on Thorpe Island. Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

People living on an island in the Broads could face eviction if the landowner does not submit a planning application within three months.

Roger Wood has been told by the High Court that he must now apply for permission to moor 25 boats at Jenner's Basin in Thorpe St Andrew.

The island, on the river Yare, has been at the centre of a long-running legal wrangle between the 74-year-old and the Broads Authority.

And on Friday the issue went to High Court after the authority sought a permanent injunction to evict those living on boats in the area.

Mr Wood now has three months to submit a planning application, but should he fail to do so the site has to be cleared within a month.

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He was also ordered by the court to pay two-thirds of the authority's legal costs – around £13,000.

John Packman, Broads Authority chief executive, said: 'We are satisfied with the judge's decision which may be the push for Mr Wood to finally submit an acceptable planning application – for both the sake of householders living next to the site and for the boaters renting from Mr Wood in the basin who are caught up in the issue.'

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The authority said Mr Wood has been developing the land, on the outskirts of Norwich, without planning permission for five years and renting out moorings.

Mr Wood, meanwhile, has argued that was able to do so by relying on historic consent given to a previous owner for a marina.

His case has already been before two planning inspectors, with a previous High Court judge deeming the development unlawful and the Court of Appeal refusing permission to appeal that decision on two occasions.

Mr Wood said: 'If you imagine 25 boats, you get £10 per boat each week, and that is not enough for one person to look after the place, let alone get a return for the £460,000 [I paid for the land].

'But I am glad the air is cleared now and the judge said that if the planning permission was clearly presented, the Broads Authority has to accept it.'

Do you have a planning concern? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.

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