A STATIC caravan has now been installed as development work continues at a Meon Valley meadow.

The site off Dradfield Lane, Soberton is owned by Nick Butler who has been turning it into a trailer park without planning permission.

On Friday July 17, an angry resident sent a letter to Winchester City Council after watching the installation of a static caravan.

It said: "A static caravan has this evening – typically a Friday evening – been installed on the site.

"This latest step in the continuing development of what had been an unspoilt agricultural site is directly attributable to the council’s failure to take the elementary step of a stop notice in conjunction with the enforcement.

"This apparently arises from a persistent failure by the council to understand this legal mechanism. I have gone to considerable lengths to explain how the legislation works in relation to a stop notice.

"This is not complicated, and should be much more familiar to you than it is to me. Despite my efforts – and urgings of other residents – the council has maintained that there is no power to issue a stop notice.

Trenches have been dug and hedgerows have been cut back during the work.

The city council is yet to renew its expired notice and a permanent enforcement notice does not take effect until July 24, or later if an appeal is issued.

"We still do not have the Council’s position on the breach of the Hedgerows Regulations 1997 after now months of pressing, and being met with legally and factually misconceived responses," the letter continues.

"I would be very grateful if you could now revert urgently with the next steps that the council proposes to take, following the latest brazen unrestrained act of development – which could have been avoided, or at least promptly restrained, if the council had properly understood its powers to issue a stop notice, and exercised them."