End of the track – Enforcement Notice upheld.
We are happy to inform everyone that the appeal against the Enforcement Notice to remove the hardcore and track in the High Woods has been rejected.
In September 2015, we reported on a track that the landowner was carving out of the ancient High Woods, behind the Recreation Ground. The HVA reported the matter to the council and, after visiting the site, the landowner was instructed to apply for planning permission for the track. This was subsequently done and the council rejected the application. An enforcement notice was issued on 16 October 2017 to return the track to its original state.
The landowner opted to appeal the enforcement notice and the matter was referred to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. A Inspector was appointed and visited the site on 14 August 2018. After months of waiting, the inspector finally made a decision.
The appeal was rejected on 28 January 2019 and the landowner was given 2 months to remove the hardcore from the track. He also needs to remove the earth bunds that were created and return the soil to the track. We hope that some planting will also be done to restore this woodland area.
The Enforcement team have written to the landowners on 1 February 2019 and we believe some work has already been undertaken to restore the woodland area.
Thank you to everyone involved. It has been a long struggle to reach this point, but we hope that we can protect the High Woods for a little longer.