Sidmouth Bowd mobile home wrangle

A LANDOWNER could face legal action over a wrangle relating to mobile homes at a site on “the gateway to Sidmouth.”

A LANDOWNER could face legal action over a wrangle relating to mobile homes at a site on “the gateway to Sidmouth.”

Planning experts say Jimmy Small has allegedly breached their rules by allowing the residential homes, and by storing building and green waste, on his land at Bowd Corner- when not permitted to do so.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) officers have recommended the authority’s development management committee calls in lawyers to ensure the permanent removal of all mobile homes not occupied by Mr Small, and materials like bricks and logs on the land.

One ward representative has told committee members, who will discuss and decide on the matter tomorrow, Tuesday, November 16, any such move would be “callous.”

An officer’s report to the development management committee reveals how The Bowd land, between the B3176 and the A3052, was considered by EDDC as potentially suitable to provide a gypsy and travellers’ site in April 2009, but didn’t meet necessary criteria.

The report claims mobile homes had been used for residential purposes on the plot.

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“At the last count, on September 2, 2010, there were a total of six mobile homes,” reads the document, which adds an enforcement officer noted three homes were residence to tenants who were “not gypsies but people with social and personal problems” in April 2009.

Sidmouth’s district councillors have voiced mixed opinions to the committee.

Councillor Graham Liverton doesn’t support the bid, and labelled it “callous” as Mr Small, who he said has health problems, has in the past helped provide accommodation for people who would have otherwise been left homeless.

“The land owner has been on this site for as long as anyone can remember…I would not like to see him evicted, but I agree others must go,” said Cllr Chris Gibbins.

Cllr Frances Newth said she wants the site tidied up and said: “Some of the residents think it’s an eyesore and it is the main gateway into Sidmouth and not a good impression for the town’s visitors.”

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