A man’s plan to keep a derelict ‘rotting’ caravan in a Chesham field has been refused by Buckinghamshire Council.

Planning officers refused to grant James Smith a certificate of lawfulness for the existing touring caravan, storage container and two field shelters at Grove Lane, Whelpley Hill.

They said the applicant had not provided ‘sufficient evidence’ for them to approve the plans and that the use of the site for such purposes was ‘unlawful’.

The applicant claimed that satellite images showed that the caravan and other structures have existed since 2011.

He argued that the land had therefore been in its current use for more than 10 years and that the use of it for grazing had ceased.

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But planners wrote: “The lawful use of the site for the grazing of horses may or may not have ceased more than 10 years ago.

“But there is no evidence of it having been abandoned and, as such, this application for a certificate of lawfulness cannot be issued because the 10-year immunity period has not been demonstrated.”

The caravan, which was used by previous owners for making tea and coffee, ‘grew into the hedge and rotted away and is derelict’, according to a resident who objected to Mr Smith’s plans.

Ashley Green Parish also objected, calling for the caravan to be removed and saying that other structures were ‘inappropriate on green belt land’.

A spokesperson said: “The touring caravan on the site is derelict and was only intended as a temporary use and should be removed.”

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