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Couple set to fight against eviction
The home in Blunsdon that John and Eileen Saveall faced being evicted from. They have lived there since 1987
A RETIRED farmer intends to spend £15,000 to take the council to a judicial review in an attempt to fight the planning team’s decision to evict him from his home.
John and Eileen Saveall first bought land in Kingsdown Lane, Blunsdon, in 1987 with the intention of breeding pigs there. But, following a downturn in the farming industry, their business folded and the couple have been living in a small home on the land since 1991.
During this time the couple faced a number of battles with Swindon Council’s planning team to have their home, which includes one bedroom, a dining area, lounge, kitchen and conservatory, recognised as lawful.
In 2010 planning inspectorate David Saul granted a ten-month temporary planning permission for the retention of a residential mobile home to allow the couple time to find alternative housing.
But he refused to grant planning permission for the home to remain permanently, as he agreed with the council that the development would fail to protect or enhance the character and quality of the environment in the countryside.
John, 74, who now works at a scrap metal yard in Oxfordshire, said if the authority was successful in their bid to evict him and his wife he would be moved to a council bungalow which, he claims, seems ridiculous.
“What harm am I doing?” he said. “There’s a big waiting list for people who want a council home. “The neighbours don’t complain about us, we get on with them.
“I can’t see what good it would do moving us. I’m used to living out here. I won’t be here forever. “As far as I’m concerned the council’s planning committee don’t understand the situation. “When you come down here you can how small the building is and with the huge waiting lists for a council home, it doesn’t make sense to move us.”
This month another application made to Swindon Council’s planning team to approve plans for the development to be viewed as lawful was refused.
A council spokesman said: “The ruling of the Planning Inspector at the last appeal relating to this property sets out the position very clearly. “He said the property is not lawful, which has been the council’s position for over 20 years, and it should not be allowed to remain beyond the ten-month period he agreed to give the occupants to find alternative accommodation.
“It is an important principle that any building must have planning permission. “Without it, there would be a complete free-for-all which no-one in their right mind would want to see.”