Yet more bad news comes for the Brexit Party, and its self-appointed Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage: the venue where they held their latest Nuremberg-style rally yesterday was built in flagrant contravention of planning laws and may soon have to be forcibly demolished. In fact, given the final appeal against planning decision has just been played out, the demolition may come sooner rather than later.
Squeaky involvement in illegality finger up the bum time
Nige and his adoring followers gathered in the grounds of the Old Hall Country Club, near Chester. Here, an effectively permanent marquee had been erected in which all could assemble to hear the innermost thoughts of The Great Man, most of which are demonstrably false, like his claim to be running for a job he doesn’t want to do. Except he’s been doing the same job - or, rather, not doing it - for the past 20 years.
The problem for both Nige and the Old Hall is that the marquee, and a number of adjacent huts, are an illegal Anschluss of the local Green Belt, and not even those providing hospitality to establishment freeloaders like Farage are immune to the planning rules. These hold, more or less, that unless one can demonstrate exceptional circumstances, or need, building anything on that land is Streng Verboten.
This did not deter the Old Hall people, who applied for retrospective planning permission in August 2017. This was a campaign destined to develop not necessarily to their advantage: permission was refused in January last year. So they appealed. Many of the Old Hall’s membership pitched in with favourable comments. This did not succeed in changing the rules for building on the Green Belt. The decision came in mid-March.
And the conclusion was straightforward. “The appeal is dismissed and the enforcement notice is upheld. Planning permission is refused”. So when Farage and his pals rocked up in Chester yesterday, the appeals process had been exhausted. The enforcement notice was clear: “The requirements of the notice are (i) remove the marquee structure from the site and (ii) remove the 6 wooden sheds from the site”.
Whether Nige knew about that is not known, but his using an illegally-built venue may not go down well with his mainly conservative voters, especially as it is not one of those hated EU directives that is being enforced, but good old British post-war Green Belt law. The only silver lining is that the enforcement notice also stipulated “The period for compliance with the requirements is seven months”, which presumably has only just been re-started.
Also, Nige is not out of the woods over his rally yesterday. As I told earlier, respected local blogger Shit Chester had a ticket for the event, and did nothing more than live Tweet from the venue. He was then forcibly ejected. City of Chester MP Chris Matheson has now Tweeted “I am very disturbed at reports Chester blogger @shitchester was violently ejected from Brexit Party rally yesterday. He is known to be fair and neutral. Thuggery and intimidation of journalists shows Farage party’s true, dangerous colours”.
Shit Chester did confirm that “Thanks for everyone's support over today's events. My intentions were honest but I've had my eyes opened to some real darkness today”. He’s had to lock his Twitter feed because of unwanted attention from far-right boot boys.
The Farage Fringe makes up its own laws. Seems its pals try to do the same.
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Just looked at the Google aerial view. Its a bloody big marque indeed. And judging by the pathways round it they intended it to be permanent. Not surprised they couldnt get planning permission. As its hidden by trees I suppose the owners thought 'out of sight, out of (the council's) mind'.
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