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Family home to be reduced to dust
A FAMILY home near North Petherton is about to be turned into dust – bringing to a crushing end an epic 15-year planning dispute.
Sedgemoor District Council is finally enforcing a planning condition issued eight years ago on a bungalow in Shearston, just outside North Petherton.
Bailiffs arrived at the home of Richard and Linda Gosbee this morning and have been loading up the couple’s belongings into a lorry.
Over the next few days all utilities will be cut off and the building will be knocked down.
The council says it is taking the move “very reluctantly” as a last resort.
The extremely complex history behind the bungalow dates back to 1993, when the Gosbees were given planning permission to build a replacement property on their land – provided they demolished their old home.
Instead they sold their land and the accompanying planning permission and the buyer built a house on it.
Sedgemoor District Council and the Gosbees have since been engaged in a mammoth legal tussle – which even reached the European Court of Human Rights – over whether the original planning condition should be enforced and the Gosbees home pulled down.
Bob Brown, corporate director for Sedgemoor District Council, said: “We are taking this action very reluctantly.
“However, the applicants took a gamble and it has not paid off.
“It would be neither fair nor legal for the council to turn a blind eye to what has been a serious breach of the regulations, which are in force to protect overdevelopment in our beautiful countryside.”
Speaking to the Mercury at her home this morning, Linda Gosbee said she had lost all her belongings and had been left with nothing.
She also said her legal bills were set to rise to £30,000.
Keep checking this website for more details and pick up next Tuesday’s Mercury for the full story.