Twist as 'Gypsy billionaire' Alfie Best claims "great victory" in row over Penwortham caravan park featured on ITV
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As reported in yesterday’s Post, a planning inspector has ruled that Mr Best’s company Wyldecrest Parks must reinstate an excavated embankment, after agreeing with South Ribble Borough Council’s stance that it had been done without permission, and had caused harm to a protected woodland area.
But Mr Best – who comes from a Romani background and whose businesses are valued at more than £700m – said the outcome of the four-year wrangle was a “poke in the eye for the council with a blunt stick” and vowed to re-lay anything he is ordered to rip up.
As part of legal arguments, Mr Best’s team said the embankment forms part of the same planning unit as the rest of the residential park, and isn’t separate as the council said.
A revised plan of the site has been sent to the council’s licensing departnment, and Mr Best believes his site licence now allows the engineering work under permitted development.
He said: “The engineering works were not lawful when they were done, because we didn't have planning permission, but we do now.
“If the council wanted to make us pull it all up, we would. Then we’d re-lay it.
“This is not a loss, it's a victory, and I'm really excited.”
In relation to the planning inspector’s decision, Coun James Flannery said: “The council presented a case to the Inspector that regardless of any lawful use of the southern embankment as part of the residential site, the park owners were not permitted to carry out significant excavation works to the embankment which resulted in damage to protected trees.
"The inspector agreed and the Park has been ordered to restore parts of the embankment back to the position they were in prior to being removed.”