Tuesday 8th October 2019
Residents reported sighting a caravan entering the Drudgeon Farm site at 4.30pm today. This was immediately reported to DBC and the Enforcement Officer attended the site just before 6pm. The site was thoroughly inspected and the caravan was found to be a replacement for a caravan which had been removed from the site. 12 caravans remain on site. There has been no breach of the High Court Injunction.
Thursday 3rd October 2019
A number of residents have contacted this office expressing their concerns that their letters/emails to Dartford Borough Council have not been accepted as they do not appear on the planning portal. Please be advised that if you have received a confirmation of receipt for your letter/email it will form part of the planning process. The decision was taken not to publish neighbour letters on the website for a number of reasons including the fact that some residents were concerned about their name and address being made public.
Monday 23rd September 2019
Dartford Borough Council are in receipt of the following planning application which was submitted on Thursday 5th September 2019
Land At Drudgeon Farm
Change of use of land to form 4 permanent plots for travelling showpeople with associated access and landscaping
PLEASE NOTE This is a new planning application and as such you should not make reference to past planning applications for this site as only this application is being considered. However, some of the information you may have previously submitted may be relevant to this application and may be submitted again. Any comments you may have on this application must be submitted to Dartford Borough Council, by letter, email or via the planning portal by 8th October 2019. Please ensure that you use the correct reference 19/01262/COU on your correspondence with DBC.
Friday 13th September 2019
Dartford Borough Council issued the following press release.
Council serves injunction on unlawful caravans at Drudgeon Farm
Dartford Borough Council (DBC) has successfully applied for an injunction to prevent any further unlawful development at a key green belt site in the village of Bean. Last weekend villagers reported the arrival of a number of caravans and vehicles at Drudgeon Farm and within hours a hard standing and roadway had been constructed contrary to the Council’s planning regulations. DBC took the unusual step of requesting an emergency hearing and is delighted to confirm that the Honourable Justice Bryan granted a full injunction at the High Court of Justice (Queen’s Bench Division) on the12th September 2019.
The occupiers of the site and others who may have followed now face arrest and imprisonment if they breach the terms of the injunction. This prevents bringing any further structures or vehicles onto the land or carrying out any further works. A Council spokesperson said, “We are simply not willing to have a two tiered planning system that sees ordinary residents take time and money to complete developments responsibly whilst some feel that they can simply ride roughshod over the national planning laws.”
The Council’s action in seeking an injunction and the serious implications that follow if the injunction is breached is a signal of just how seriously Dartford Borough Council takes planning breaches of this kind. The Village of Bean deserves protection and we intend to offer this to the full extent of our powers.
Monday 9th September 2019
The Parish Council is aware of the incursion onto land at Drudgeon Farm which took place starting the evening of Friday 6th September and which is an egregious flouting of planning law. The Parish Council immediately contacted Dartford Borough Council, the Planning Authority, and the Leader of DBC confirmed that the Planning Enforcement Department would be taking urgent action from Monday 9th September 2019. The Parish Council, whilst sympathising with the frustration and annoyance of residents, are aware that the process involved may take some time and an immediate resolution is not expected but will keep residents fully informed of progress.
The Parish Council would also advise residents that this is not a criminal matter and, as the occupants of the land have the permission of the land owners to be there, the police have no powers to remove them.