'I can't even cut my grass' - Campsite owner's frustration after injunction

Nigel Marsh, Burnham Overy

Nigel Marsh has voiced his frustration after being issued an injunction. - Credit: Chris Bishop

A campsite owner has expressed his frustration after being issued an injunction which stops him from using his land for camping.

Nigel Marsh is currently unable to use his five-acre site beside the A149 coast road at Burnham Norton as a campsite, despite receiving an exemption certificate from Natural England (NE) last September.

He has been served an interim injunction from West Norfolk Council (WNC) over concerns relating to the impact on wildlife.

He said the council was notified of the intention to use the land and objected, and that a High Court injunction of which WNC is the claimant, which was issued last week, means he is unable to "even cut the grass" in his field.

The High Court injunction issued to Norfolk Camping CIC.

The High Court injunction issued to Norfolk Camping CIC. - Credit: Nigel Marsh

Mr Marsh claims WNC have been "aggressive in stopping" the land from being used for camping.

He said: "They are now claiming that we are a danger to areas of SSSI (sites of special scientific interest), yet there are at least four other campsites in or near SSSIs."

A WNC spokesperson said the council got an interim injunction preventing the use of the site for camping and caravanning until Friday, July 9 when the matter returns to court for further consideration.

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They added: "The injunction has been issued due to the judge agreeing with the council’s case that there has been non-compliance with the requirements of the Habitat Regulations, and there is the potential for harm to this sensitive site and area.”

Burnham Norton campsite

A view across part of the water meadow at Burnham Norton - Credit: Chris Bishop

But Mr Marsh said areas like the Norfolk Coast Path runs through an SSSI and that "people are allowed to fly camp on that path",  adding that National trust and Natural England actively promote people to enjoy and walk over it.

"And so they should, as Norfolk should be showing we are open for people to visit this summer," he added.

"With such huge growth in campervans, camping and motorhomes, unless fields like mine are opened up for use people will simply park and sleep in lay-bys and car parks around the area.

Burnham Norton campsite

The water meadow at Burnham Norton. - Credit: Chris Bishop

"The injunction order issued the non-use of the field for sleeping, not even I can sleep on my field and it also restricts me from even cutting the grass.

"This sends a strong signal to the country that 'Norfolk is closed for business' this season and not welcome or wish to facilitate holidaymakers."

The water meadow owner previously pledged to improve habitats and conserve the area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

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