Dales planners tell Cracoe businessman to remove son's caravan home from site

Sam Jackson with his son Alfie outside their mobile home in Cracoe

Sam Jackson with his son Archie speaks out about YDNP decision to evict the family from their static caravan home. (9212242)

Sam Jackson with his son Archie speaks out about YDNP decision to evict the family from their static caravan home. (9212223)

First published in News
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A BUSINESSMAN involved in a row with Dales planning chiefs over a caravan on his land in which his son's young family lives is "upset and disappointed" after being told it has to go.

Cracoe farm shop owner Richard Jackson has been told by the Dales National Park Authority that son Sam, grandson Alfie and Sam's partner Lorna must move the caravan from Toppan House Farm.

Mr Jackson was informed at the beginning of this year that as the caravan was being used for "residential purposes" it contravened Dales planning regulations.

He was hoping that the authority would relent as it would mean his son's family was "in essence, being evicted from their home."

But planners decided to enforce the removal of the caravan at a meeting on Tuesday.

Mr Jackson said: "Sam is very much a home bird, is part of the community, and desperately does not want to move away from the area. He works locally. But at the moment there is nowhere else for them to live. When rural communities are under threat it seems absurd to force Sam and Laura to live somewhere else. I've got no problem with the Park authority. They do a good job for the area and I understand why there are rules. But this seems to be unnecessary. I was hoping that common sense would prevail."

Planning policies which came into force in 2012 says that authorities should avoid new isolated homes in the countryside unless there are special circumstances. It also states that "effective enforcement is important as a means of maintaining public confidence in the planning system. "Enforcement action is discretionary and local planning authorities should act proportionately in responding to suspected breaches of planning control."

Mr Jackson said that he already had planning permission for a single dwelling with a detached garage on land near to the caravan, but wants eventually to build three smaller cottages on the site for each of his three sons.

He said: "I asked informally if I could build a cottage on the site for Sam, and was told there was no chance. But if I wanted to go in with a housing association and build three or four cottages I was likely to get permission. To me, this seems inconsistent. The Park authority seems to think more of the countryside than the communities which live in it."

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Principal Planning Officer Katherine Wood said: “Members of the Planning Committee decided to take legal action to remove a caravan from Toppan House Farm that had been sited without planning permission and was the subject of a complaint to the National Park Authority.

“Local planning policies do not allow static caravans to be sited in the countryside unless on a caravan site or as a temporary measure. While mindful that the caravan is lived in by Mr Jackson, his partner and son, the committee took account of the fact that the owner of the site has had eight months to resolve the matter but has declined to do so.”

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