Unusual bonfire in Winchester as woman burns mobile home

Hampshire Chronicle: Sharon May outside the ruins of her former mobile home in Sparsholt Sharon May outside the ruins of her former mobile home in Sparsholt

A VERY unusual bonfire burned in Winchester on Monday night (Nov 5).

While families around the city set fire to great lumps of wood, Sharon May burned her mobile home on her alpaca farm.

Sharon, of Ham Green, Sparsholt, had been ordered to remove the home by Winchester City Council by November 16 because she did not have planning permission.

But after learning it would £2,000 to have it removed, she said she was forced to set it ablaze.

She said: “I was left with no other choice as it would cost too much to remove each unit and I would have had to remove all my fencing too. I tried selling it but was told it was too old so burning it was the only viable option.

“It was very upsetting; I was burning my house and I was in tears. I don't know what's going to happen to me now. I'm staying with family in Winnall at the moment but I am speaking to the council about being moved into a flat.”

Although the fire was controlled, Hampshire Fire & Rescue were called to the blaze by a neighbour on Monday night.

Watch manager Chris Roper said two pumps from Winchester attended: “We took action as the fire was way out of control and it was potentially threatening trees and there were horses nearby.”

A council spokesman added: “We will check it out this week. It looks like the original breach has ceased, but we will investigate whether the demolition has created an untidy site which would be a planning breach.”

Sharon confirmed she would remove the wreckage as soon as possible.

She has recently separated from her husband, Michael Lee, who was fined by magistrates in August for ignoring an enforcement notice after installing the home without permission.

It was first ordered to be removed by February 2012, but subsequent council inspections showed it was still there.

In August Mr Lee argued in court that he needed the home to run the alpaca farm.

But a government inspector had already ruled there was no justification for it.

Sharon also pleaded guilty to breaching the enforcement notice at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court last month and was fined £600 and ordered to pay £400 costs.

Comments (4)

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9:54am Thu 8 Nov 12

Flour1234 says...

I was with Sharon the day she burnt her home. we had cleared the mobile home of anything that should not be burnt. all the felt was removed from the roof and anything toxic was also removed. we moved the horses and other animals to paddocks away from the where the fire was to take place. there was no wind and the flames were no where near the trees. every precaution was taken to make sure it was safe to go ahead.it was heart breaking to watch my friend have to burn her home when no other option was viable.
I was with Sharon the day she burnt her home. we had cleared the mobile home of anything that should not be burnt. all the felt was removed from the roof and anything toxic was also removed. we moved the horses and other animals to paddocks away from the where the fire was to take place. there was no wind and the flames were no where near the trees. every precaution was taken to make sure it was safe to go ahead.it was heart breaking to watch my friend have to burn her home when no other option was viable. Flour1234

12:19pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Tigers Wood says...

No other option? This seems hugely irresponsible and was a waste of valuable fire service time and resources.
No other option? This seems hugely irresponsible and was a waste of valuable fire service time and resources. Tigers Wood

12:27pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Flour1234 says...

Tigers Wood wrote:
No other option? This seems hugely irresponsible and was a waste of valuable fire service time and resources.
tell that to the person that called the fire services we did not as there was no need. Everything was under control and the police agreed and only attended for 10 minutes as they said there was no need for them to be there but as the fire service were all ready there they would extinguish the fire. the other option was to move the mobile home and huge cost. for some people money is tight therefore yes this was the only option.
[quote][p][bold]Tigers Wood[/bold] wrote: No other option? This seems hugely irresponsible and was a waste of valuable fire service time and resources.[/p][/quote]tell that to the person that called the fire services we did not as there was no need. Everything was under control and the police agreed and only attended for 10 minutes as they said there was no need for them to be there but as the fire service were all ready there they would extinguish the fire. the other option was to move the mobile home and huge cost. for some people money is tight therefore yes this was the only option. Flour1234

12:19pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Tigers Wood says...

Watch manager Chris Roper said two pumps from Winchester attended: “We took action as the fire was way out of control and it was potentially threatening trees and there were horses nearby.”

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one as money is tight for lots of people.

That being said I sympathise with Sharon for her predicament and wish her luck.
Watch manager Chris Roper said two pumps from Winchester attended: “We took action as the fire was way out of control and it was potentially threatening trees and there were horses nearby.” We'll have to agree to disagree on this one as money is tight for lots of people. That being said I sympathise with Sharon for her predicament and wish her luck. Tigers Wood

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