Appeal fails to save pigs’ bacon

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A GANG of pigs hogging an area of woodland in Rozel look set to be evicted and have their homes blown down after an appeal against a planning enforcement notice was rejected.

The order was served against the landowner, Jason Meyer, in June for the site, which lies adjacent to the former Bistro Frère restaurant, which now houses a modern home with views across to the Normandy coast.

He subsequently appealed against that decision in a bid to save their bacon but Graham Self, the independent UK-based inspector overseeing the appeal, accused Mr Meyer of ‘deliberately trying to cause delay and frustrate’ the process.

The inspector pointed out that Mr Meyer had only lodged his appeal a day before the 24 June deadline.

Mr Self also claimed that the Judicial Greffe wrote to Mr Meyer on 16 August after he allegedly had not provided his ‘statement of case’ within the 28-day time limit.

Mr Self added that, during the process, Mr Meyer said he had not seen certain emails and documents attached to them – but had seemingly replied to some of them.

The inspector’s report also made reference to a message sent by Mr Meyer in response to planning officers trying to arrange a visit to the Rozel site. It said: ‘A site visit on 3rd November is entirely unrealistic… May I suggest that multiple dates are suggested as it may not be possible for logistics to be arranged?’

Commenting on the situation in his report, Mr Self said: ‘In my judgment, Mr Meyer has deliberately tried to cause delay by frustrating the appeal process. His claim that he has not received documents and communications does not ring true.

‘If he had been “working with his lawyer to produce a response statement” on or before 26 August, it is strange that his lawyer did not advise him of the need to submit such a statement or other material in good time to support his case, or to contact the Judicial Greffe to ask whether more time could be granted if more time was needed.

‘Mr Meyer’s reference to multiple dates and his comment that it “may not be possible for logistics to be arranged” also suggests to me an attempt to sow the seeds for further delay.’

Turning his attention to the grounds for the appeal, Mr Self’s report said that it was claimed that the alleged matters within the notice had, in fact, not occurred, that the ‘breaches’ were not subject to planning laws, the remedial action exceeds what was reasonably necessary and that the time provided for correcting the breaches was insufficient. Mr Self ruled against all of these points.

The inspector was also critical of the Planning Department’s enforcement notice, saying that it contained multiple ‘errors and flaws’.

Environment Minister John Young chose to accept a recommendation made by Mr Self to refuse the appeal and uphold the enforcement notice.

A separate land-condition notice did not form part of the appeal and remains in place.

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