We'll fight to the bitter end

PUBLISHED: 12:48 28 July 2006 | UPDATED: 22:02 28 May 2010

John Gawthorp at the converted stable – pic Brian

John Gawthorp at the converted stable - pic Brian

RETIRED butcher John Gawthorp says he will defy planners who want him moved from a converted stable - set in three acres - in which he and his wife have set up home. Mr Gawthorp, shrugging off an enforcement notice from Fenland District Council, told the

RETIRED butcher John Gawthorp says he will defy planners who want him moved from a converted stable - set in three acres - in which he and his wife have set up home.

Mr Gawthorp, shrugging off an enforcement notice from Fenland District Council, told the Cambs Times: "I am going to fight it to the bitter end."

And he says he will press on with plans to open a nursery on the land he owns near Bedlam Bridge, Upwell Road, March.

Mr Gawthorp, 58, claims an adviser at the council's one-stop in Chatteris gave him the go-ahead to move to the site.

But the council, which has apologised for any misinformation which may have been given out, says Mr Gawthorp, who is living in the stable with his wife Elaine, must go.

Mr Gawthorp has appealed against an enforcement notice issued by the council and is waiting for the date of the hearing.

"I'm not here just squatting," he said. "I sold my house in Chatteris on the information given to me by two members of Fenland's one-stop shop and a member of the planning department. This is our land and we are never going to move again."

Fenland's planning chief Nigel Brown, on a site visit, advised Mr Gawthorp to take planning and legal advice before submitting a planning application.

The Gawthorps moved on to the site in December last year and lived in a caravan for a while but after a cold winter moved into a motel until work on the stables was completed in May.

Mr Gawthorp said he understood the council had received objections to his stable block but so far as he was aware "the only person to object was a neighbouring farmer, complaining that the site was an eyesore".

A council spokesman said he could not comment until a verdict was reached on the Gawthorps' appeal.

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