Beer man in fishing battle

PUBLISHED: 09:01 28 February 2009 | UPDATED: 08:38 18 June 2010

AN AGGRIEVED Beer fisherman, who has been denied a fishing concession by East Devon District Council, says he is bewildered by its policies and is appealing against the decision. Brian Sanderson, of Park Road, has been fighting for a concession at Seato

AN "AGGRIEVED" Beer fisherman, who has been denied a fishing concession by East Devon District Council, says he is bewildered by its policies and is appealing against the decision.

Brian Sanderson, of Park Road, has been fighting for a concession at Seaton beach for nearly three years but was told in January that his application was refused.

He said: "I feel aggrieved. It is three years later and I'm trying to go to work but the council are putting everything in my way."

Mr Sanderson says the council told him that he needed to provide all of the paperwork for his application by October 31, 2008.

Despite sending everything off in August and having a meeting with Mark Williams, the Chief Executive, in September, Mr Sanderson was told on November 6, six days after the deadline, that one of his references was not acceptable.

Over a month later, he was then told his other reference did not meet the requirements imposed by the council.

Mr Sanderson added: "They had all of the paperwork since August but they didn't tell me that the references were unacceptable until months later.

"I don't understand why the council had, in my mind, everything needed to process the application but it didn't do anything about it."

In 2007 Mr Sanderson was awarded £10,000 compensation from the council after the local ombudsman found it guilty of maladministration, in connection to the same application.

The council formally apologised to him at that time but Mr Sanderson believes the apology has been overshadowed by the council's recent behaviour.

"How can they be sorry but not carry out what they apologised for in the first place?

"All I want them to say is 'yes you can have a concession' and all I want to do is go back to work."

Mr Sanderson is also awaiting information he has asked the council to provide him with, including the appeals procedure and a decision on the type of winch he would be allowed to use if a concession was granted.

He is in contact with the European Court of Human Rights which is considering his complaint and it is liaising with the council.

A spokesperson for EDDC said: "The council is currently considering an appeal from Mr Sanderson following our refusal of his application. The appeal is being considered by the Chief Executive and he will respond to Mr Sanderson within the stated timescale.

"It would not be appropriate for us to discuss the detail of this appeal at the current time.

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