The Vale of Glamorgan planning committee decided last night to issue an enforcement notice to force off his land a local pig-farmer who has been battling to be allowed to carry on living in a caravan on his own farm.
The pig farmer, Mr Mike Psaila, lives on Upper Langcross Farm, Leckwith – on land which he acquired in 1987. He began living in a mobile home on the site in 2008 and has progressively acquired a total of 22 hectares of adjacent land.
In 2010 Mr Psaila made a planning application to retain his use of his caravan on his farm as his home. This was refused by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
Undaunted, in 2011 Mr Psaila appealed to the Planning Inspectorate against the council’s decision – and won a temporary reprieve and was allowed to continue living in his caravan on his farm for a further 3 years and one month . (i.e. in 2014 – after which he would have to remove the caravan – and “associated paraphernlia”).
However Mr Psaila then lodged more planning applications:
- 2012: He sought and obtaining planning permission to install a wood burner
- 2012: He sought and obtained planning permission to add an extra bedroom to his mobile home.
- 2016: He applied for permission to build a permanent home on the site (i.e. a house) on the grounds that he was an agricultural worker who needed to live on his farm. This application was refused by the council on April 11th 2017 .
Mr Psaila did not appeal against this latest planning refused and – as the original 3-year reprive granted by the Planning Inspectorate has expired ( in fact it expired in 2014) Vale of Glamorgan Council planners are now recommending that the council’s planning committee should authorise the issue of an enforcement notice requiring Mr Psaila to remove his caravan from the land and live somewhere else.
Back in 2011 the Planning Inspectorate – granting the 3-year reprieve – had said “there was no doubt that the mobile home adds to the unsightly and harmful clutter of buildings, structures and paraphilia” . It said that whilst the site was not “highly visible from the adopted highway” it could be “clearly viewed at close range from footpath No.8 that runs alongside” and “represents an unjustified encroachment of a residential use into a rural setting.”
The original caravan has been “clad” and the council report says it has “an unsightly
appearance” that would be contrary to planning principles and would set a precedent for other development.
The council report says that “the land is not within easy access to day-to-day
services associated with a residential use, unless by private vehicle” and the site is “an unsustainable location that promotes the use of the private motor vehicle over more sustainable modes of transport”.
The Vale Council however admits that there is no objection to Mr Psaila’s caravan from any adjoining occupiers.
As far as Mr Psaila’s “Human Rights” are concerned, the council asserts that his human rights are “qualified by necessary interference by a public authority to protect certain interests including economic well -being, which it has been established includes protection of the environment. Accordingly, in recommending the pursuit of enforcement action in this case, full consideration has been given to the implications for the Human Rights, but this has been balanced against the legitimate reasons for this Authority to interfere in those human rights.”
The council report says that “In considering the issue of Human Rights, which are not unqualified or absolute rights, it is maintained that a balanced and proportionate judgement has been reached in recommending enforcement action in this case. It is considered that the fundamental harm identified earlier in this report is unlikely to be outweighed by any other considerations.”
Last night (6 July 2017) the planning committee voted to authorise the issue of an enforcement notice which will compell Mr Psaila to relocate his home away from his farm.
Two members of the planning committee Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour Stanwell) and Cllr Neil Thomas (Labour St Augustines) abstained.