‘Last lifeline’ to save converted Terrington St Clement building

Fred Ali inside the building, for which he has received an enforcement notice from King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council ANL-160822-121242009
Fred Ali inside the building, for which he has received an enforcement notice from King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council ANL-160822-121242009

A man from Terrington St Clement who has received an enforcement notice to demolish a building on his farm says he is on his “last lifeline” to save it.

Fred Ali, who owns the property on his farmland, converted it from a piggery to a building, which he said was to be used for business purposes.

But West Norfolk Council issued a notice to Mr Ali in July of last year telling him that he had breached planning control by not gaining permission before the conversion.

Mr Ali said: “It’s such a shame because it’s actually a lovely building and it’s all been done correctly.”

Following the enforcement notice from the council, Mr Ali appealed the decision, as he says that the building already existed when he bought the farm more than 20 years ago in 1995.

An inspector visited the farm in March this year, and in an appeal decision statement which was issued in April, she dismissed the appeal and said the enforcement notice was to be upheld.

It was noted in the report that Mr Ali was appealing the enforcement notice on the grounds that there was no breach, as he said that the newly constructed building was constructed on the location of an existing building and was not used for residential purposes.

Mr Ali said: “I’m trying to save it and the ombudsman is my last lifeline.”

He added that he has been in contact with his local councillor who has been lending some help with his case.

The final stage in Mr Ali’s bid to keep his building standing is the local government ombudsman, from whom he expects to hear a response on Monday.

He added that he would be looking at costs of around £9,000 in total to demolish the single-storey structure.

A spokeswoman for West Norfolk Council said: “This was a retrospective application which was refused. There was no justification for the requirement of offices and stores, and the appearance of the building is clearly a new dwelling.”

The original refusal for the application stated that the outside and inside of the building provided evidence that the building is virtually the same as a new dwelling, and therefore should be weighed against policy for new housing in the countryside, which is strictly controlled.

It goes on to state that the applicant did not provide special justification why countryside protection policies should be relaxed, and that it is contrary to provisions.