We can confirm that the Pondtail Wood site, subject to a planning Enforcement Notice, (EN) and forestry Restocking Notice, has now been sold. The existing owner has chosen to withdraw his appeal against the EN and we have issued a revised EN to take account of the fact that the requirement to restock the trees is subject to separate legislation and Restocking Notice (still in place) to be pursued by the Forestry Commission.
The amended EN also provides the new owner six months to remove the waste from the site. Such a timescale is considered to be both reasonable and achievable for the new owner. In any case, the site cannot be restocked with trees until the new planting season commences in autumn.
We believe this is a positive outcome for the National Park, providing certainty for the future management of the planning breach – not only has the appeal been withdrawn but the new owner, along with the former owner of the site, have signed an agreement with the SDNPA that they will not lodge any challenges to the amended EN.
Had the site owner chosen instead to continue with the planning Inquiry this level of certainty could not have been guaranteed. Whilst we consider our case to be strong in planning terms, there is always the risk that the appeal Inspector could not have found in our favour.
We consider this to be a good outcome and look forward to working with the new site owner to restore the site in accordance with the requirements of the amended Enforcement Notice.