Hatfield Court


Nr Leominster



Phone: 01568 760333

November 1995

Dear Mr Hammerton

May I firstly say how much I appreciate the various attempts on the part of the council to restrain the present owner of Eye Manor. I have in mind particularly your attempt to prevent the tragic and unnecessary renewal of the sills and the 15 foot new drive.

With reference to your letter of 31 October, I’d like to reassure you that from ‘my side of the fence’ we are in no way desirous of breaking or flaunting the law of the land.

Please send me a copy of the relevant section of the Act you mention, plus what would be the mechanism for appealing.

Over the years my family have not only been landowners but have contributed many thousands of pounds to the council in taxes, made many bequests to museums and fought hard for amenities in this county.

Besides the duty you mention, the council also has a duty not to meddle or cause unnecessary anxiety in the affairs of the citizens of Herefordshire.

The recent Yoke Farm case clarified how, accidentally I am sure, for years our councils had in fact been flaunting the law of the land, the guidelines of the Department of the Environment and even their own professed policies. The Department of the Environment inspector decided emphatically against the council in the Yoke Farm case; and you will also know judgement has been entered against this county and its policies concerning the caravan dwelling population of this county described as ‘disgraceful’ in the High Court, by the judge himself.

After the Yoke Farm case there was a proposal to bring councillors to court for their reckless waste of council officers’ time and an estimated £30,000 of taxpayers’ money in bringing a case that was in legal terms indefensible.

I have to say that, speaking both as a landowner and as a taxpayer, I feel the bringing of the case you mention in your letter by the council would bring it into further disrepute for waste of officers’ time and taxpayers’ money, and into conflict with the Herefordshire Traveller Support Group and the Farmers’ Union, with national Gypsy and Traveller bodies, English Heritage, and possibly the Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg.

I have to say, however, that I have not personally read the section of the Act you mention, so I look forward to receiving a copy so that I can get a more complete picture.

This is intended to be a friendly letter because I basically support my council, not only financially but in other ways. It seems important to me to point out errors, if they are in danger of being committed.

With best wishes

Jeremy Sandford