Welwyn Hatfield Council given right to evict barn couple

A COUPLE who have been living in a barn for six years look set to be evicted, after a ruling by a High Court judge. Alan Beesley and his wife, of Coopers Lane Road, Northaw, have been living in their self-built barn for six years. Now, after numerous cour

A COUPLE who have been living in a barn for six years look set to be evicted, after a ruling by a High Court judge.

Alan Beesley and his wife, of Coopers Lane Road, Northaw, have been living in their self-built barn for six years.

Now, after numerous court proceedings, Welwyn Hatfield Council has been given the go ahead to evict them.

Mr Justice Andrew Collins labelled Mr Beesley's plan to live in the barn as "fraud" and ruled he should no longer be allowed to benefit from what he had done.


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Planning permission was approved in 2001 to build the barn, subject to the condition that it would only be used for agricultural reasons.

However, while it looks like a barn from the outside, internally the structure works as a home.

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A government planning inspector who considered the situation after the Beesleys had lived in the property for four years, decided they were entitled to a certificate to live in the barn.

However, Mr Justice Collins maintained the inspector had been incorrect in his decision, as Mr Beesley had not admitted his intentions to live in the property.

A Welwyn Hatfield Council spokesman told the WHT: "We are very pleased with the High Court ruling.

"The owner created a home within a barn to avoid the council taking planning enforcement action.

"Such deliberate breaches of planning are taken very seriously."

The Beesleys were unavailable for comment.

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