Exclusive:'Gypsy billionaire' Alfie Best ordered to undo work at Penwortham caravan site featured on ITV's Undercover Big Boss
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Planning Inspector Zoe Franks has determined that the excavation of an embankment to create more space for homes at Penwortham Residential Park off Stricklands Lane was in breach of planning policies.
This is what Alfie Best makes of it all – and it’s probably not what you’d expect
She upheld enforcement notices issued by South Ribble Borough Council stating that there had been unauthorised development at the site which is owned by Alfie Best.
In 2021, he was filmed going undercover as a handyman at the site as part of ITV’s Undercover Big Boss programme.
What’s the history?
In 2019 the Post reported that residents at the park were unhappy that an embankment area had been excavated. They said they hadn’t been consulted and worried about the impact of the work.
At the time, Alfie Best told the Post that existing planning consent allowed for the additional units and that a full survey was carried out on the embankment,with £90,000 being spent installing a substantial railway sleeper barrier to prevent landslips.
South Ribble Borough Council were involved and argued that the southern embankment formed a separate planning unit from the rest of the caravan site.
But the park owners presented documentation to succesfully argue that the development land had formed part of the larger planning unit of the caravan park since the 1980s.
“Erosion of woodland areas”
The southern embankment is covered by the South Ribble Borough Council Tree Preservation Order 1995, and all trees within it are protected. It also lies within Lancashire County Council’s Woodland Ecological Network and is part of a local wildlife corridor and supports a Priority Habitat, Lowland Broadleaved Woodland as identified by DEFRA.
The inspector noted that work to protected trees had been carried out without consent and there had been damage to tree roots.
She said: “I find that the erosion of the woodland areas is harmful and contrary to Policy G16 which seeks to protect, conserve and enhance biodiversity and ecological network resources.
"The operational development causes harm to the character of the caravan site with a detrimental impact on the landscape features including mature trees.
"It does not respect the character of the site and the works to the southern embankment including the erosion of it and the operational development to
allow additional caravans will harm the wider site increasing the built environment within and abutting the southern embankment.
"It also causes harm to the character and appearance of the wider area on the other side of the Southern Embankment and further conflicts with Policy G17 which is intended to secure good design which is not detrimental to existing development.”
What happens now?
Wyldecrest Parks (Management) Ltd and Best Holdings Limited have been told to:
- Cease the use of the southern embankment area for use as a residential caravan park.
- Remove the three concrete bases and associated concrete parking areas
- Remove the retaining embankment fence
- Restore three areas of the embankment area back to the condition they were before development commenced.
- Remove the section of brick paved parking area that has encroached into the excavated embankment area.
An appeal for costs by South Ribble Borough Council was dismissed.