Many villagers are understandably concerned about the unauthorised caravan site that has appeared on Bowd Field, near the old airfield. Stoke Albany Parish Council (SAPC) and Kettering Borough Council (KBC) both view this as an unauthorised housing development on private land, and are committed to ensuring its removal.
KBC have issued "cease and desist" orders which have been ignored, and are therefore pursuing a legal action through the civil courts which is ongoing. The legal process is moving extremely slowly but we need to be patient so that all parties have the chance to put their cases fully and fairly, and we reduce the risk of appeals being lodged further down the line.
A committal hearing and hearing of the Injunction scheduled for 13th November did not happen and was deferred by the judge to a later date. Instead the legal teams put before the judge that the two named defendants each sign a legal undertaking to comply with the Interim Injunction in so far as it relates to their parts of the injunction site (ie the bits that they claim to own or control). This has the effect that if not complied with it would be contempt of court. On (name-redacted)'s part of the site, he had reduced three caravans down to one as allowed by the Interim Injunction pending trial or further hearing. Despite what the Land Registry shows, ie all the injunction land being owned by (name-redacted), the Judge accepted that some form of ownership exchange had taken place amongst the family groups such he decided that the defendants named in today’s appearance could not be held liable for what another member did on bits of the land the latter claimed to control. This was with the proviso that the two named defendants did not assist the others in breaching the Interim Order in respect of those other bits of the land. The Council is now required by 27th November to apply to join in the proceedings all parties so far unnamed in the Interim Order or referred to as persons unknown.
Two retrospective "change of use" planning applications have been made by the owners of the site, which are being considered as part of normal planning processes. SAPC has objected to both these applications on the grounds that they are outside the village development boundary and are unsustainable in terms of location and utilities.
KBC Planning Committee met to discuss these applications on 7th November and has since rejected them. The applicants now have the opportunity to appeal against this decision, and are expected to do so.