A woman who built a veranda and small building without planning permission has been ordered to demolish them and pay thousands in fines and court fees.

Linda Hazelgrove, of Highlands Lane in Chiddingly, was ordered to demolish the building and timber veranda built on Friths Farm within twelve months of a planning enforcement notice issued back in 2018.

The building was “unauthorised” and considered to be “detrimental” to the location with an “unacceptable impact on the amenity of local residents,” said Wealden District Council.

Hazelgrove was also required to remove all foundations of the building, including disconnecting and removing all the utilities such as the drainage and steel frame chassis it was built on.

She appealed the enforcement and, after an inspection in 2019, the appeal was dismissed and the enforcement notice upheld.

In the appeal, Hazelgrove argued that the building is a caravan, which would therefore constitute a use of land rather than a building.

The council and Hazelgrove were in dispute about this as the “caravan” has two bedrooms, a large kitchen/lounge, bathroom and an en-suite shower.

In the appeal report, a government planning inspector declared that it was a building rather than a caravan because of its size and permanence.


After the appeal result, Wealden District Council took Hazelgrove to court.

Hazelgrove pleaded not guilty to the allegation that she had not done everything within her power to comply with a planning enforcement notice issued in 2018, for the erection of an unauthorised building and decking.

She was found guilty and fined £1,000 and a victim surcharge of £100 was also applied by the court with full costs of £7,169.50 awarded to the council.

The building and decking is due to be removed later this year.

Councillor Ian Tysh, Wealden District Council’s portfolio holder for planning and environment, said: “We will robustly persue breaches of planning control and this court case shows we will escalate matters to court where there has been a serious contravention of planning laws.”