Planning inquiry to decide fate of residents living in ‘retirement’ park

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THE fate of scores of householders living at a “retirement” park on the outskirts of Beverley will be decided after a planning inquiry, which begins this week.

Inspector John Braithwaite will conduct the inquiry at County Hall, which will hear appeals by Lakeminster Park Ltd and one resident against the refusal by East Riding Council to grant retrospective planning permission, allowing people to continue living in 70 homes all-year round.

Many of the occupants had sold their properties to move into what they thought would be their permanent homes on the park and accordingly paid full council tax, but the council has said they should only be used for holidays.

Residents have been on tenterhooks since the issue was first raised in 2011.

The inquiry will also hear appeals relating to two enforcement notices issued by the council which require the unlawful use of the site for permanent residential occupation to cease.

A third enforcement notice will not be pursued because the site’s developer “admitted during the course of the appeals preparation that a planning permission granted in 2006 for holiday use of the site has not been lawfully implemented and has now lapsed”.

The inquiry, which is open to the public, is expected to last between two and three weeks.

A final ruling will be issued later.

Last month five people were arrested over allegations of fraud and money laundering in connection with the sale of retirement homes at Lakeminster Park.

Police said the arrests followed a lengthy investigation and all those arrested have since been released on bail pending further inquiries.