Pensioner told to demolish illegal £500,000 bungalow

Pensioner, 74, who has spent 11 years fighting to keep £500,000 home he illegally built for his wife with a degenerative condition on greenbelt land is ordered to pay £10,000

  •  ​​Peter Dick built the detached property in West Parley, Dorset, in 2010
  •  The site, called Long Croft, is within 400m of protected heathland
  •  Illegal house built for wife who has muscular dystrophy

A pensioner who has spent 11 years fighting to keep a £500,000 home he illegally built on greenbelt land has been ordered to pay more than £10,000 – and he still has to demolish it.

Peter Dick, 74, erected the red-bricked chalet bungalow on a plot of land he owns in 2010 without obtaining planning permission.

His application to legalise the property in West Parley, near Bournemouth, Dorset, was denied in 2012.

Peter Dick ignored legal orders to demolish the £500,000 bungalow in 2012 and 2019

The site, called Long Croft, is within 400m of protected heathland, a special conservation area and a Site of Scientific Special Interest.

Dick ignored legal orders to demolish it in 2012 and again in 2019, instead fortifying the property with an 8ft-high, 20ft-long padlocked gate with barbed wire.

He was taken to court by BCP Council in 2021 and found guilty of failing to knock down his illegal home.

The property is still standing on land near Bournemouth but will now have to be demolished

But the property is still standing two years on, prompting a return to Poole Magistrates’ Court.

Dick admitted breaching an enforcement notice under the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act by ‘failing to carry out works to demolish an unauthorised home’.

He was issued with a £7,500 fine and told to pay a £190 surcharge and £3,269 costs.

Mary Almeida, prosecuting, said: ‘I appreciate it was 11 years ago but there is a long history to this, with numerous planning applications and appeals and extensions to comply with said notice.

‘The last one was in 2021, which allowed the defendant to comply with the notice until November 27, 2021.

‘Mr Dick is still in breach of the notice.’

A written statement from BCP Council planning enforcement officer Neil Smith, who visited Long Croft in November 202, was read to the court.

He said he could not access the land as the gates were shut but could see the brick building was ‘still in non-compliance of the enforcement notice as it was still standing’.

The court was told a planning officer could not access the land as the gates were shut

Dick, addressing the court, said he had the illegal house built for his wife as she has degenerative muscular dystrophy.

He said she could not live in the lawful building on site.

He said: ‘My wife has muscular dystrophy which is progressive and the layout of the house is designed for her.

‘The older structure, a converted industrial building, does not have facilities for her.’

Simon Bell, defending, said: ‘Mr Dick finds himself in the position where he has an unlawful property on his land and no other property to live in.

‘His wife has a serious medical condition which has progressed.

‘He finds himself in a difficult place where the planning regime doesn’t work as well as it should have.’

Sentencing, magistrate chair David Murray said: ‘You have taken a course of action which has put you on a collision course with council and planning rules.’

As he left court, Dick did not make any comment when asked if he now intended to demolish the property.

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