Council decision could force couple from their home
- Credit: GOOGLE
A couple face eviction after East Cambridgeshire District Council refused to allow them to continue living in a house near Newmarket.
They live in a house on a stud farm with a restrictive occupancy that insists tenants work in agriculture, forestry or horse racing.
Since they rented it privately from the stud owners – and do not work for them or in any of the specified industries – they must leave.
The decision was supported by Newmarket Horsemen’s Group – the umbrella body for those in the racing industry.
William Gittus, on behalf of the horsemen’s group, told East Cambs planners the owners “have knowingly let” the house “in a manner which is in breach of the occupancy condition.”
Mr Gittus says that no evidence was provided to show that any attempt had been made to find a qualifying tenant.
East Cambs Council refused the occupancy restriction being lifted for 2 Hope Hall Cottages, Brinkley Road, Dullingham.
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The council says the owners failed to show it had been marketed for at least a year.
"The application also fails to demonstrate there is no longer a need in the local area for the agricultural workers dwelling,” says the council.
Dullingham parish council also supported East Cambs Council, pointing out that agricultural restrictions had been lifted on two neighbouring houses also owned by Dudley Properties Ltd.
The parish council said if the stud is sold or business improves, this would create a need for more housing.
The current tenant told planners their concerns were based around “theoretical or perceived potential issues that have not arisen”.
They wrote: “In stark contrast our lives will be affected by whatever decision is made. Their concerns versus our concerns, as you can imagine, are incomparable”.
They said they had “stumbled” across the empty house and arranged to move in as a short-term solution to weather the crisis thrust upon them by the pandemic.
They also argued it goes against government policy to ensure empty homes do not stand empty.
“Evicting us …....and forcing us to move on would not serve the public interest in any way”.
Dudley Properties wanted a temporary lifting of the restriction, arguing that the owners had tried previously to find tenants to meet the occupancy conditions.
“The house cannot and should not be left vacant just because of the condition on it,” they said.