08:53AM, Friday 25 January 2019
The Court of Appeal has ruled the owner of Hare Hatch Sheeplands cannot face further legal action from Wokingham Borough Council for alleged breaches of an enforcement notice.
The popular plant nursery has been at the centre of a long-running legal dispute with the council, which took action against ‘unauthorised developments’ - including shops and businesses – before they were removed from the site last year.
WBC tried to take further legal action over alleged past breaches by Mr Scott and some business owners operating at Sheeplands, but this was prevented at Reading Crown Court in June.
The council appealed the decision, but this was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on Thursday, January 17.
However, a High Court injunction and enforcement notice remain in place for the land, and the developments cannot be rebuilt.
The Wokingham Borough Council executive member for planning, Cllr Simon Weeks (Con, Finchampstead South), said: “The council has been fighting for many years to successfully preserve the integrity of the greenbelt at Hare Hatch.
“That has not changed, and the Court of Appeal made it clear that the injunction protecting the land remains fully in place. While it is disappointing to have lost this case, the fact remains that there was unlawful development on greenbelt and we put a stop to it.”
A statement provided by Hare Hatch Sheeplands said: “While Mr Scott is clearly delighted that the judgements have been given in his favour, his desire is to work with Wokingham Borough Council to ensure the sustainable future of the nursery and associated services and facilities on the Hare Hatch Sheeplands Nursery site, that will both benefit the community and support the local plan for Ruscombe and Twyford.
“Mr Scott said that he would take every opportunity to open a dialogue with Wokingham Borough Council to further this objective.”
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