Man who lived illegally in caravan for four years near Lincoln fined

A man who has been pitched up illegally in his caravan for almost four years in North Scarle has been forced to face court action and ordered to pay more than £2,000 to the district council.

John Anthony Thorneycroft, 62, had been refused a planning application for land on Meadow Lane in North Scarle in 2012, but has been illegally living in a caravan there ever since.

He pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an enforcement notice at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, August 3.

The court heard how the 62-year-old had been living in a caravan on land at Meadow Lane, without planning permission, since September 2012.

He had submitted a retrospective planning application to North Kesteven District Council in the same year, which was refused, and his appeal to the decision was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate in 2013.

An enforcement notice requiring Thorneycroft to remove the caravan from the land and to cease using the land, or allowing it to be used, for residential accommodation, was issued in October 2013.

However, it expired in November 2014 and despite the Council agreeing to two extensions to the deadline, which he continued to ignore.

Thorneycroft was fined £1,500, ordered to pay the legal costs of £654.73 and a £120 victim surcharge.

Councillor Mike Gallagher, Executive Board Member with responsibility for planning, said: “Court action is only taken in these circumstances as a last resort when other avenues have been exhausted.

“In this case we had agreed to two deadline extensions and our Housing Needs Team also worked with Mr Thorneycroft to find other suitable accommodation without success.

“Planning regulations are there for a reason and cannot be ignored.

“We will robustly enforce any decisions made by our Planning Committee to ensure decisions are complied with for the benefit of the district.”