White Stuff boss loses bid to save unlawful Devon skate park

A millionaire fashion mogul has lost a bid to save a skate park, tennis court and garage unlawfully constructed on a Devon beauty spot.

Retrospective in AONB turned down by South Hams District Council – Owl

BBC News www.bbc.co.uk 

Aerial image of site

image South Hams District Council/Apex

Sean Thomas, founder of the White Stuff fashion brand, had his plans to plant 1,000 trees to screen the site turned down by South Hams District Council.

The authority said the construction near Salcombe was “detrimental” to the “highly sensitive” local environment.

It said formal enforcement action would begin. Mr Thomas is yet to comment.

Mr Thomas has six months to appeal against the decision. He may have to tear down the development, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported.

He built the additions to land adjoining his home in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and alongside the Salcombe to Kingsbridge Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest.

After complaints from residents about the “eyesore” development, a retrospective planning application was refused in 2019.

In April, Mr Thomas submitted the plans to plant more than 1,000 native trees.

Refusing the proposals, the council report described the constructions as an “incongruous development in a highly sensitive area of the open countryside”.

The district council report said: “The development has a detrimental impact upon the surrounding landscape… resulting in adverse impacts to the natural beauty, special qualities, distinctive character, landscape and scenic beauty of the South Devon AONB.”