Horsham District Council has spoken out as the battle continues to stop a man from being evicted from his horsebox home.
Steve Tremmel has been living in a converted horsebox on land on private land in Coolham for nearly six years.
He has permission from the landowner to stay on the grounds but the council has since served the carer with an eviction notice for the unauthorised stationing of a vehicle for residential purposes.
Mike Corby, who owns the land, expressed his outrage over the council’s decision and is due to appear in court with Steve on Friday.
A spokesman for the council said: “The Council served an enforcement notice dated 29 July 2016 on the landowner for the ‘unauthorised stationing of a vehicle being used for residential purposes’ as a new residential use in the countryside which is contrary to planning policy. The enforcement notice required the landowner to permanently cease the residential use of the vehicle and to permanently remove it.
The landowner appealed the enforcement notice to the Planning Inspectorate, who considered the appeal and upheld the enforcement notice on 16 August 2017. The landowner was given a further 6 months until 16 February 2018 to comply with the enforcement notice.
“Given the significant timescales involved, the Council is of the view that more than sufficient time has been given and the Council has been clear on its position in relation to the removal of the vehicle, which has been upheld by the Planning Inspectorate on appeal.
“The terms of the enforcement notice have still not been met and the Council is prosecuting the landowner for non-compliance with the enforcement notice. Since the prosecution began in July 2018, the Council has been pro-active and met with the landowner to try and resolve this matter, the matter had been postponed in Court several times to allow the landowner further time to comply with the enforcement notice.
“The Council’s housing services team have also met with the occupier of the horsebox and advised him of the housing options and services available to him.
“This matter will now be dealt with by way of a prosecution hearing in court on 29 March.”