Man living in caravan could be forced to leave site because of flood risk

Caravan at Club Mill Road,Neepsend
Caravan at Club Mill Road,Neepsend
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A MAN living alone in a caravan with his dog in an industrial area of Sheffield could be forced to leave by the city council because the site does not have planning permission for him to camp there.

The occupant, known to workers in surrounding factories only as “Pete”, who is in his 50s, moved on to the site at Club Mill Road, Neepsend, late last year without authorisation from the council.

Now planning officials are asking the council’s west and north planning board to approve enforcement action.

This would force the landowner to evict the man, otherwise the council could either take legal action or remove the caravan and charge the landowner.

A report to the committee, which meets today, said the man in the caravan had previously lived at the same site in one of three caravans which were cleared after the council served a notice on the landowner in 2008.

He was formerly homeless and sleeping rough in neighbouring woods, council officers said.

The report said: “The occupier of the caravan is reported to be inviting companies to tip waste onto the land for him to burn as fuel.”

The caravan is parked in front of the derelict former Old Park Silver Mill, and surrounded by a wooden fence, also erected without planning permission.

Although pots and pans are stacked neatly on a table outside, the surrounding area is littered with burned rubbish.

The occupant of the caravan was unavailable for comment. The council report does not reveal whether the landowner knows he is there.

Council officials are proposing that an order for the caravan’s removal should incorporate a “compliance period” giving time for the occupier to organise alternative accommodation or be towed to a different pitch.

Members of the planning board will also consider a clause of the Human Rights Act protecting the right to respect for private and family life.

But officers said enforcement action was “justified” because the site is unsuitable for a caravan due to flood risk and the fact it is in an industrial location.