DC Casebook: Householder Development - Statues regarded as intrusive on levels

An appellant's plea to retain six stone statues on the Pevensey Levels in East Sussex has been rejected by an inspector who labelled them domestic-scale intrusions that undermine the area's tranquillity and sense of remoteness.

Before determining the merits, the inspector dealt with local authority claims that the enforcement notice appeals were invalid. The council relied on an initial letter from the Planning Inspectorate stating that the appeal had been received on the day the notices came into effect. The appellant produced documentary evidence that the forms had been completed and posted the day before they became effective.

The inspector agreed that posting the documents on the previous day meant they could not have been received before the operative date. However, he took into account a fax message sent by the appellant a week before the effective date stating that appeals would be lodged. The appellant's use of the wrong forms and the omission of a detailed statement setting out the grounds did not invalidate the appeals, he held.

In examining the visual impact, he found that the flat, open landscape was dominated by the sky and huge windswept vistas and had an overwhelming sense of remoteness and tranquillity with minimal human intrusion. The statues domesticated and trivialised this landscape and were wholly unsuited to the area's remote character, he decided. Planting by the appellant around the statues was ineffective and inappropriate and there were no compelling reasons for them to be retained, he concluded.

DCS Number 100-069-051

Inspector Richard Tamplin; Written representations.

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