A Chesham landowner faces legal action over a fence in a woodland where he had planned to set up a kimchi farm.

Buckinghamshire Council has ordered Syed Mubarak Ahmed to remove wire fencing and wooden posts around a small parcel of land on the northeast of Pednor Road.

The council’s cabinet member for planning Peter Strachan told the Bucks Free Press this week: “We are in the process of pursuing further action to seek compliance with the requirements of this notice.”

Jane MacBean, a Conservative councillor for the area, said: “This is now a legal matter for the council. Legal documents have been drawn up and will be issued.”

The councillor began getting calls last week from concerned residents who alleged that men at the site were cutting branches off trees and drilling holes in the ground for new posts.

Plots 1-14 of the Pednor Valley are subject to a tree preservation order, banning work on trees there.

There is also an Article 4 notice in place, which means what would normally be permitted development at the site will require planning permission.

Officers from Thames Valley Police attended the site on Sunday to order a group of four men to stop any work there.

Then, on Monday, a council enforcement officer also visited the woodland to speak to workers about their activities after the council received reports of work being carried out on protected trees at the site.

Cllr Strachan said: “In response, our planning enforcement officers visited the site this week to assess the situation.

“Upon investigation, no evidence of illegal work on protected trees was observed. As a result, no further action is being taken at this time.”

The council previously issued a planning enforcement notice to Mr Ahmed for the land – identified as ‘plot 14’ – in July 2021, asking him to remove the fence.

His appeal against the notice was unsuccessful and the council said the fence should have been removed by November 28, 2022.

The council wants the landowner to remove all fence posts, metal railings running between the posts and concrete fence post footings from the land, as well as any other debris and material related to this.

Mr Ahmed was alleged to have erected the fencing prior to the determination of his application to ‘grow organic vegetables and Chinese cabbages on the land’ and build a barn there.

Planning officers said the vegetables would have been used to make kimchi, a Korean fermented cabbage dish, and sold to supermarkets and Asian restaurants.

However, the plans were refused in June 2021, with officers claiming the ‘inappropriate development’ would be harmful to the Green Belt.

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