A defiant great gran today declared ‘I’m not going anywhere’ after council planners ordered her to leave her home.
Josephine Ogden, 74, lives in a static caravan with her disabled son David, 53, in the grounds of her daughter and son-in-law’s hotel in South Shore.
But council officers say the caravan is in breach of planning rules and has told the family it must be removed.
They have refused and now face prosecution after failing to meet yesterday’s deadline to comply with an enforcement order.
Mrs Ogden, who had a stroke three years ago and suffers from lung disease, said: “I’m staying put, I’m not going anywhere.”
The great-grandmother of six previously lived in Abbey Road, South Shore, but following her stroke moved into the static caravan at the back of the Henson Hotel, Clifton Drive, to be closer to her daughter and son-in-law Susan and David Jones, in June 2013.
I don’t ask the council for anything. Where I was before I got housing benefit, but living here I don’t need it
She said: “The council wants to take my home away from me but living here I have my independence but I have my family on hand to help me when I need them.
“I don’t ask the council for anything. Where I was before I got housing benefit, but living here I don’t need it.
“Where are they going to put me and my disabled son? David has learning difficulties, I’ve looked after him all my life and I’m not going to stop now.
“I don’t want to move into the hotel because that would be taking away revenue from my daughter and son-in-law.”
Mr Jones said when he put the caravan in place, he did not realise it needed planning permission.
He said: “There was a garage there before which was plumbed in and had obviously been used as some kind of residence.
“We knocked it down and I checked the planning regulations and believed I did not need planning permission for a static caravan on private land if it was ancillary to the building.
“But it turned out because we are a hotel, even though it is Susan and mine’s residence, we did need permission.
“We only wanted temporary permission but were turned down.”
The couple appealed but an independent planning inspector supported the council’s decision.
Mr and Mrs Jones were ordered to remove the caravan by July 31 or face prosecution.
Mrs Jones said: “Living in the caravan means my mum has her independence but I can look after her as well.
“We are worried about facing prosecution, but we have no choice. She says she is not going to move and I’m not going to force her.”
The council refused planning permission for the caravan on the grounds it compromised the privacy of neighbours, provided poor quality living accommodation and reduced the amount of outdoor amenity space.
In its decision, the council said the static home “is a dominant and incongruous feature within the streetscene which is detrimental to the appearance of the site and locality”.
The Council’s view
Coun Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “It is never nice when planning regulations dictate that a person’s home needs to be moved.
“At the same time, I’m sure any right-thinking person would agree there has to be a set of laws and regulations to ensure that development is not damaging or having an adverse effect on other people and the local community.
“In this instance there is a clear breach of planning regulations which has been subject to a number of complaints from local residents and, in our view, is damaging to the area.
“An independent appeal process has been carried out and a planning inspector has agreed unequivocally with our decision.
“In the report, the inspector said it was: ‘an inappropriate and alien structure in an area of permanent residential dwellings and hotels’.
“The inspector also considered the balance between the need for the resident to remain due to health and care issues and said she could find no reason why alternative accommodation could not be provided within the hotel itself or elsewhere.
“As a result we’ve asked the parties involved to move the caravan which they have so far refused to do. We would urge them to comply with the law and do so soon.”