Councillor Geoff Jung Independent Councillor for Raleigh Ward and member of the Development Management Committee made the following statement at Tuesdays 4th of December meeting prior to 2 planning applications which were about to be discussed.
“Having taken legal advice, I feel I need to declare that I have a personal interest in the 2 planning applications regarding Hogsbrook Farm which are in the ownership of FWS Carter and Sons that we are about to debate.
There are two declarations and I must stress are totally unrelated.
Firstly, I need to declare that I am member of the Woodbury Salterton Residents Association because the Association have sent a response to these applications.
Secondly, I need to declare that I have been sent a letter from the applicant FWS Carter and Sons` Solicitor informing me that as:
… “I entered onto their property without the licence or consent of their client and took a number of photographs”.
They kindly sent me copies of the photographs which they claim is the evidence of my trespass.
The letter further informs me that unless I sign a written undertaking, court proceedings may prove necessary and they may seek significant legal costs to me personally.
I have totally denied this allegation and East Devon District Council officers have stated that the photographs were not from myself.
I have no knowledge of who took the photographs or who sent them to the Planning Team at East Devon District Council.”
However, I come to this meeting to discuss the applications with a totally open mind.”
Once the debate started a representative from FWS Carter and Sons who was the registered speaker was asked a question by Councillor Jung about a landfill site, which was the subject of the photographs, but the Chair told the meeting that it was not relevant.
Councillor Jung explained that the landfill site formed part of the planning application, but the Chair insisted, and Councillor Jung then said he had no other questions.
The two planning applications in question were for two Agricultural Buildings at Hogsbrook Farm near to Greendale Business Park at Woodbury Salterton 17/2430/MFUL and 18/0920/FUL which is proposed to be built on a raised landfill site.
These two planning applications had been originally approved at the October meeting at East Devon, but the Applicant had requested that they should be re-considered without a Legal Clause called a non-alienation clause, preventing the sale or letting to another party and requiring the buildings to remain in agricultural use.
This clause had been suggested at the previous meeting because of the applicant’s previous history of building agricultural units and then changing them to industrial, claiming the agricultural units were redundant, and then building more agricultural units.
The two planning applications were approved after a short debate with Councillor Jung abstaining from the vote.
After the meeting Councillor Jung said he was unable to provide further comment.
What is Trespass? A search on the internet:
“Unlawful physical entry to land or buildings can result in an injunction by the civil courts to prevent further trespass or damages. In terms of photographers or those filming video footage, taking photographs or footage from property where the person in question has the right to be is not considered trespassing.”
“Farmland is privately owned, and although you are free to walk through farmers’ fields without being a trespasser, farmers reserve the right to remove anyone from their land who they believe to be disruptive or otherwise a threat to their land or crops.”
Councillor Geoff Jung in his statement states he did not trespass and it seems that East Devon District Council have confirmed that the photographs did not come from him.
What the photographs show and who took the photographs remains a mystery but it’s clear the owners of Greendale are not very happy!