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Another setback in fight to legally allow residents to live at mobile home park

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While some residents have been given permission to live at Tall Trees, others have not
While some residents have been given permission to live at Tall Trees, others have not

AN APPEAL against a decision to refuse legal permission for residents to live permanently at a mobile home site near Christchurch has been dismissed.

RoyaleLife had hoped to overturn the former Christchurch council’s ruling on its Tall Trees park at Hurn, but a planning inspector sided with the authority over technical details, writes Josh Wright of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The company’s chief executive said he was “very disappointed” by the decision.

For a number of years, residents of Tall Trees had been paying council tax despite restrictions forbidding the site’s use as a main home.

In 2016 the council announced it was planning to take enforcement action and set aside £600,000 for the process, but that was dropped in 2018. It later announced it would take no enforcement action against anyone living on the site.

Since then, legal rights for most of the site’s residents to live there permanently have been secured. But attempts for this to cover everyone, supported by Christchurch MP Sir Chris Chope, have now failed.

RoyaleLife, which bought the site three years ago, said having a certificate of lawfulness would allow it to grant formal agreements with its residents.

The latest bid was made last year but turned down by council planners. It said the company had “fallen short” of putting forward a “proper analysis” of the legal position.

A bid by RoyaleLife to overturn that has now been dismissed by a government inspector who raised doubts over whether planning permission was required for agreements to be made between residents and RoyaleLife.

Robert Bull, the company’s chief executive, said he was “very disappointed” by the ruling.

“I’m particularly disappointed for the residents who, I know, will be extremely frustrated at the outcome, and rightly so,” he said.

“We have committed substantial resources in an attempt to resolve this legacy issue and will be exploring further avenues to hopefully secure a successful resolution for the residents.”

He said the company was “considering its next options”.

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