Broads Authority moves to prosecute pub over caravans - again

Static caravans outside of the car park of the Beauchamp Arms pub. Picture: David Hannant

Static caravans outside of the car park of the Beauchamp Arms pub. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

The Broads Authority has decided to re-prosecute a riverside pub for refusing to remove two static caravans from its premises. 

The authority had already initiated prosecution proceedings against the Beauchamp Arms pub on the river Yare, in the summer of 2021

But that prosecution was withdrawn to allow further information to be sought, the authority said.

An enforcement notice was then issued in November 2021, demanding that the land ceased to be used for the caravans, with a deadline of April 29 for all of the caravans’ pipes and structures to be completely removed. 

The Beauchamp Arms pub. Picture: David Hannant

The Beauchamp Arms pub. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

But the deadline passed without action, and the caravans remain standing and occupied, the authority said.

The decision to prosecute the pub was made by the authority’s planning committee at a Friday meeting.

An officer claimed there had also been further breaches of planning conditions, including the erection of lighting columns, a new kerbway and a wooden workshop building currently under construction without permission. 

Committee member Andree Gee said: “In all my years of planning - and I first started on planning committees in 1979 - I have never ever, despite many, many breaches of planning law, seen an issue to this extent. It just beggars belief. 

Andrée Gee

Broads Authority planning committee member Andrée Gee - Credit: Broads Authority

“My jaw was dropping… We have to take action, the strongest possible that we can, because if we don’t, not only is it going to continue to wreck the beautiful surroundings and the peace and tranquillity [of the Broads], what is there looks like a travellers site and it’s only going to get worse.”

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She added that she supported prosecution, but if that failed, the authority would have to take direct action to remove the caravans themselves. 

The committee voted in favour of commencing prosecution on the caravans, as well as serving an enforcement notice on the lighting columns and kerbing, and an enforcement notice and temporary stop notice on the workshop. 

Pub landlord Ray Hollocks said the caravans had been on the site since 2005, and were “occupied by vulnerable people assisting in the operation in the pub so cannot be evicted without a court order”. 

RAY HOLLOCKS BEAUCHAMP ARMS, BUCKENHAM FERRY, LANGLEY .

Beauchamp Arms pub landlord Ray Hollocks - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

Regarding the disputes over planning permission, Mr Hollocks said there had been “numerous pre-application communications” with the authority’s planning department but that they had cited “an irrelevant policy” in response. 

He claimed that "many false statements and omissions" had been made by the authority about the situation.