2007 Enforcement Details

The original action by Dover District Council, when they destroyed my bungalow in 1989, was unlawful and therefore it follows that every action that the Council has taken against me since, is also unlawful.

The current action is a continuation of events which are a direct consequence of the council demolishing my home. Sometime after I was evicted from my property my neighbours contacted me to say that my garden was being used as a local dumping ground, so when somebody wanted to use my land as an allotment, it seemed a good idea to keep the fly tippers away. But it wasn’t a good idea and in fact made matters worse because the person who used it liked collecting scrap vehicles.

Despite the Council destroying my home and evicting me they continued to hound me and eventually took enforcement action, because as the landowner I was responsible for clearing the accumulation of rubbish.

I returned ‘home’ on 15th June 2002 and set about clearing the scrap cars and the huge amount of rubbish that, over the years, had been dumped in my garden.

My family, friends and myself all worked extremely hard clearing the garden and replanting it. It was a very disturbing experience to return to my family home and find it in such a disgusting state, particularly so because it was Dover Council’s wrongful action that had created the mess.

On the 26th July 2002 I noticed somebody peering through my front hedge with a camera and guessed he was from the Council. I introduced myself to him and made it very clear that he was welcome to call in at any time, explaining that it was not necessary for him to sneak around peering through the hedges to make his observations. He was extremely embarrassed and gave his name as Mark Mortimer, a part-time Officer with Dover District Council DDC.

Mike-DawsonHe went away and I did not hear anything further until I received a letter from him almost two months later. The letter was so absurd and contained such nonsense that I immediately wrote a letter, dated 16th September 2002, to Michael Dawson, (pictured) Chief Planning Officer, explaining the situation and offering to attend the Council offices or meet him at my home to discuss matters.

Michael Dawson responded on the 26th September 2002 stating:

“Thank you for your letter of 16th September 2002. Rather than respond to your letter point by point, I think the best way forward is to accept your offer of a meeting. Therefore my Development Control Manager, Mr Tim Flisher, will be in touch with you in the near future to make arrangements”.

Tim Flisher never did get in touch with me that year and neither did he at anytime throughout the whole of the next year, 2003. In fact there was no contact from the council for almost two years until the morning of Thursday 13th May 2004 when my attention was drawn to two men acting suspiciously near to the boundary of my property. When they saw me they concealed the camera they were using. Obviously I was concerned and felt it necessary to enquire as to the reason for their suspicious behaviour.

I introduced myself and I learnt that they were employees of Dover District Council DDC, namely Mark Mortimer and Paul Francis, who were carrying out enquiries on behalf of the Council, apparently in furtherance of the ongoing conflict about my lawful right to reside on my property. We had a discussion for a short time at my entrance gate.

I advised them, that should they be required to carry out any similar tasks in the future then they were welcome to park on my drive, rather than 100 yards along the narrow lane, which would avoid possible inconvenience to other road users. At Mr Mortimer’s request I gave my telephone numbers so that he was able to contact me more easily in future.Paul Francis

Mr Mortimer stated that Dover District Council would be taking renewed action against me in respect of the ongoing dispute over my lawful right to reside on my property.

In view of Michael Dawson’s letter of 26th September 2002, accepting my offer of a meeting and promising that Mr Flisher would be in touch to make the necessary arrangements, I was somewhat dismayed to find his officers snooping around threatening enforcement action, particularly as Tim Flisher did not get in touch first.

I immediately wrote a letter dated 14th May 2004 to Michael Dawson reminding him that almost two years had elapsed since he accepted my offer of a meeting and explained that it seemed only fair, just and courteous that a meeting, as promised, should have been the first logical step. It was my intention that a meeting would be a way forward to resolve the dispute fairly and amicably.

Michael Dawson did not reply to my letter.

However I did receive a telephone call from Paul Francis (Enforcement Officer) with the offer of a meeting, which of course I agreed to.

In the meantime, I again wrote to Michael Dawson on the 2nd June 2004 to remind him that he had originally promised a meeting with Tim Flisher, the Development Control Manager. I also confirmed acceptance of Paul Francis’ offer of a meeting and explained that, with no disrespect to Mr Francis, he had only been employed by DDC for a short period of time and yet my case spanned some twenty years. I urged that a senior officer, who is familiar with my case, should also be present.

Once again, Michael Dawson did not reply to my letter.

A meeting was subsequently held at 2.30pm on Thursday the 10th June 2004 at the council offices with Mark Mortimer, a part-time officer and Paul Francis, but neither Tim Flisher nor any other suitably qualified officer attended as I had requested.

At the meeting Mark Mortimer’s attitude made it clear that the council were not interested in resolving the situation fairly or amicably, which I thought was the intention of the meeting. He said they intended to take further direct action against me and Paul Francis warned me that if I did not remove my mobile home then the Council would forcibly do it for me.

The council refuse to accept compelling evidence of the long-standing residential use of my property, despite Council records confirming its lawful use, but instead continue to act as if I had placed a mobile home on a Greenfield site (which is categorically not the case).

The officers then stated that they needed to inspect my home to confirm that I was living there and a visit was arranged for 3pm on the 18th June 2004.

It seemed a strange demand because I had openly stated that I was residing in the mobile home and Council Tax, for residential use, has always been paid. But when they arrived their real motive was made clear. They soon went in to ‘the good cop, bad cop’ routine with Paul Francis whispering to Mark Mortimer (but loud enough for me to hear) how and where they would fix the chains on my mobile home in order to drag it off my land. They were clearly trying to intimidate.

It transpired that the two meetings I had with these officers were merely a convenience for them to gather evidence, contrary to my understanding, which was an attempt to seek a fair resolution to this dispute.

In view of their behaviour I wrote to Tim Flisher on 12th July 2004 to seek confirmation regarding the council’s proposed action. I also expressed my concern that over the past few years I had entered into lengthy and carefully considered correspondence with Dover District Council DDC but often received no reply and that on numerous occasions I requested a meeting but those requests were either ignored or refused.

I also asked Tim Flisher to confirm when my case was to be heard, in order that I had the opportunity to present a full summary to the Planning Committee for their consideration, before a final decision is made.

As I did not receive a reply to my letter, Debbie (a friend who is assisting me) telephoned Tim Flisher on 26th July 2004 and discussed with him the contents of my letter of 12th July. He admitted to having received it but not having read it.

She explained the frustration of never receiving a timely response to any issues raised with the Council. Tim Flisher explained this delay, was in part, because he was awaiting a copy of a report from his officer, Mark Mortimer. Tim Flisher stated that he placed great importance on receiving this report before matters could proceed.

This marked the start of protracted correspondence regarding Mark Mortimer’s ‘report’ and resulted in an exchange of fifteen letters, including me requesting sight of a copy of the report from Tim Flisher, who refused my request and referred me to DDC’s legal department where the council’s assistant solicitor, Lee May, informed me it was exempt information.

The Council went to great lengths to refuse me access to this ‘important document’ only for me to discover much later, that the crucial report does not exist! If it does not exist, why was I refused access to it?

Tim Flisher did not reply to my letter of the 12th July so Debbie telephoned him again on 9th August 2004 and discussed their previous telephone conversation of 26th July (most of which he needed reminding of). He undertook to reply to my unanswered letter of 12th July.

Tim Flisher did eventually reply to my letter informing me that on 19th February 2004 (in a secret meeting, six! months earlier) the Planning Committee resolved that funds be made available to employ contractors to remove my mobile home. At no time did the Council have the courtesy to inform me about their intentions or give me the opportunity to present any form of defence, which is a clear breach of Article 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998, which guarantees the right to a fair hearing. The Planning Committee made their decision based solely on the Planning Department’s report, which was biased, misleading and incomplete.

Clearly, during my meetings with Mark Mortimer and Paul Francis, they were hiding under a cloak of deceit. They knew of the Planning Committee’s decision when they met with me on the 10th and 18th June and said nothing. Equally, when I wrote to the Council’s Chief Planning Officer, Michael Dawson, on 14th May and 2nd June he should have informed me that the Council had already made a decision to forcibly remove me. But he said nothing, which amounts to deliberate suppression. He didn’t even acknowledge receipt of my letters. The Council went through a charade knowing what their intentions were, all along.

19th August 2004. I wrote to Tim Flisher stating that the contents of his last letter contradicted the information he had given Debbie during his telephone conversation with her on the 9th August, when he said that the Planning Committee was still to be advised upon the full facts before being asked to decide on whether any action was to be. Yet, in his letter to me he stated that the decision had already been taken, six months ago. I asked him to clarify the position.

14th September 2004. Tim Flisher did not reply to my letter so Debbie telephoned him. He cited resource problems as his reason for not responding to my letter.

He also confirmed that a decision was indeed taken at the February Planning Meeting to take direct action against me but as a result of the representations I had made it was decided that the Council should further research matters to ensure that any action they may take was lawful. He added that it was now the Council’s intention to put the matter back to the Planning Committee with the further information obtained by their enforcement officers and as a result of research carried out by their legal department.

It became clear that another rash decision, taken by the Council in that secret meeting in February, was based on insufficient and incorrect information. Yet another example of a heavy-handed blunder by the Council with them acting first and asking questions afterwards.

Debbie attempted to discuss the historical situation with Tim Flisher but he refused to discuss or comment on any action taken historically and advised her that his responsibility was solely in relation to current matters and he repeated this several times during the course of their conversation. Debbie remonstrated that current matters were a direct consequence of the Council’s original, unlawful action and therefore all subsequent action would be unlawful also, which makes the historical events highly relevant. Tim Flisher continued to refuse to discuss any action taken historically.

15th September 2004. Tim Flisher responded with a letter in which he confirmed that the Committee’s decision taken in February 2004 was made on the basis of the information then available to it, since when the Council had retracted its decision because of the information I had submitted.

In his letter, Tim Flisher also informed me that I would be served with a Planning Contravention Notice (PCN) within three weeks but emphasised that it was not an enforcement notice but a means where the Council can find out about activities on my land, adding that I would later be invited to meet officers to discuss the Notice. He also informed me that Mark Mortimer had now left the Council.

20th September 2004. I wrote to Tim Flisher thanking him for clarifying the situation and to inform him that I would be pleased to complete and return the Planning Contravention Notice.

11th October 2004. The PCN was not served within the time stated so Debbie telephoned Tim Flisher. He stated that the document was with him, awaiting his comments, before being returned to the legal department for the final touches before it was despatched. He anticipated this would be completed by the end of the week.

18th October 2004. The PCN still did not arrive as promised so Debbie once again telephoned Tim Flisher enquiring as to the current progress of it. He was unable to indicate when it would be ready but stated that personal service would be necessary, advising Debbie to contact Lee May (Council solicitor) directly and arrange a suitable time for it to be collected.

During the conversation Debbie complained to Tim Flisher about the Council dragging its heels and not replying to correspondence in a timely way and his response was:

“This case is unprecedented in that never before had anyone chased for a PCN before, many people would consider it advantageous that no action had been taken to date, people were usually happy to let sleeping dogs lie”

As Tim Flisher had previously placed great emphasis on receiving Mr Mortimer’s ‘report’ before matters could be progressed, Debbie asked whether we could be furnished with a copy. Tim Flisher stated that this was not usual practice and that he would have to seek advice from his legal department. It was agreed that if a formal written request were made, it would be considered and responded to.

Debbie telephoned Lee May regarding the PCN, as advised and he anticipated that: “It would be ready on Tuesday 19th and Mr Moulder would be welcome to collect it” Lee May told Debbie that he would telephone me to confirm when it was available for collection and if for any reason I did not hear from him on Tuesday, then I was to telephone him on Wednesday.

I did not receive a call from Lee May and so I telephoned him on Wednesday morning, as arranged. Lee May bluntly told me that the PCN had been sent the previous day by recorded delivery.

This was completely at odds with our arrangement, which was put in place because it was likely, as actually happened, that I would not be at home to sign for the letter.

This was yet another example of Dover District Council not carrying out their undertaking.

23rd October 2004. I wrote to Tim Flisher to formally request a copy of Mark Mortimer’s report, which detailed his findings following his investigation into my residence of ‘The Oaks’.

1st November 2004. An email from Lee May confirms that a meeting has been arranged, in connection with the PCN, for the 16th November.

3rd November 2004. Tim Flisher refuses to provide a copy of Mark Mortimer’s ‘report’.

5th November 2004. In an email to Lee May I make a second request for a copy of Mark Mortimer’s ‘report’ that Mr. Flisher refused me access to.

Lee May replies, informing me that the ‘report’ I require is exempt information but in order to assess whether or not the information I requested should be made available to me, it will be necessary for him to go though the relevant papers in consultation with the planning department (the department I contacted in the first place).

9th November 2004. In a letter to Lee May, Debbie questions Lee May’s reasons for refusing to provide a copy of Mark Mortimer’s ‘report’ and refers to the Freedom of Information Act which is due to come into force on January 1st 2005.

12th November 2004. In response to numerous requests for a copy of Mark Mortimer’s ‘report’, to which Tim Flisher had repeatedly attached great importance, I received a letter from Lee May in which, for some bizarre reason, he enclosed copies of two brief, typed notes written by Paul Francis, although it had been made abundantly clear that it was a copy of Mark Mortimer’s ‘report’ that was required.

14th November 2004. Debbie wrote to Lee May stating that the two file notes he had sent and which were written by Paul Francis, merely provided ‘details’ of the two most recent meetings that had taken place. She confirmed to him that for the avoidance of doubt the document required is the Mark Mortimer report that Tim Flisher stated was important for him to see before he could consider a meeting to progress matters. Debbie made a further request for a copy of the ‘report’.

15th November 2004. Received an Email from Lee May intimating surprise that we were seeking a different document from those that were enclosed with his letter! He added that the information I seek would feature on Mr Flisher’s file so he had forwarded my request to him so that he may identify whether it exists and, if so, that it is open to inspection. (He offered this ‘advice’ knowing full well that it was Mr Flisher who refused me access to the ‘report’ in the first instance)

He ended by saying that either Mr Flisher or himself would revert to me on this point as soon as possible.

The Mortimer ‘Report’.

It didn’t make sense for the Council to go to such great lengths to refuse something that didn’t exist. Tim Flisher instigated the saga of the ‘Mortimer report’ and I requested a copy only because he placed great emphasis on its importance and he explicitly gave that as a reason why he could not progress matters.

There were no less than fifteen letters exchanged with the Council relating to Mark Mortimer’s ‘report’ and in view of such extensive correspondence over this specific document it is reasonable to assume that it did in fact exist.

If it did not exist why did Tim Flisher refuse to release the document and why did Lee May quote relevant sections and subsections of the Freedom of Information Act in order to support his refusal to release this document?

Why did such a critical document never materialise?

It might lead one to conclude that the document has been suppressed or destroyed because it contained information, which if released, could compromise the Council’s position.

16 November 2004. A Time and Place meeting, to discuss the PCN, was held at the Council Offices with Tim Flisher, Lee May and Paul Francis. Debbie, along with Mr Lawson, a lawyer, accompanied me. At the meeting the Council recommended that I submit a planning application, which I agreed to but I suggested that a meeting at my home would be useful before confirming the type of application I should submit.

Tim Flisher indicated that there might not actually be a Mortimer ‘report’ after all, although some rough notes might have been made! We were advised to make a formal, written request (again).

Lee May stated (wrongly) that one of my difficulties was that my land was a Greenfield site. I challenged him on this false statement and informed him that it was in fact a Brownfield site. He promised to go away and check.

Brownfield land is the common term for ‘Previously Developed Land. It is defined in Planning Policy Guidance Document 3 (PPG3) “Housing” (2000) as land which “is or was occupied by a permanent structure……….” And occurs in both built-up and rural settings.

Greenfield land is virgin land, a field or area where development has not previously taken place, a site which has not been built on before, any land that has not been previously developed, most often in rural areas such as farmland.

24th November 2004. In a letter to Tim Flisher Debbie made a formal, written request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 for all relevant notes relating to Mark Mortimer’s investigation into my case. She also requested a copy of the report of the Chief Planning and Building Control Officer which was put to the Planning Committee on Thursday 19th February 2004 which resolved that funds be made available to employ contractors to remove my mobile home.

29th November 2004. Letter to Tim Flisher telling him that I am pleased to accept the advice he gave me at our meeting at the Council offices and I will prepare and submit my planning application as soon as possible.

29th November 2004. Email from Tim Flisher acknowledging my intention to submit a planning application and suggesting that we can discuss the details at the meeting at my home scheduled for the 9th December 2004.

9th December 2004. A meeting at my home went ahead as planned, attended by Tim Flisher, Lee May, Paul Francis, Debbie and myself. The purpose of the meeting was to enable DDC employees to familiarise themselves with the site and its current appearance and clarify any areas of uncertainty with regard to my planning application. From my point of view I wished to ensure that DDC were fully acquainted with all aspects of the site and its surroundings, update them as to my intentions and obtain their view on my proposed course of action and time scale.

I stated my intention to submit a planning application for a bungalow. Tim Flisher advised me that it would be easier to regularise an existing situation than consider the merits of a new one and committee members would look more favourably if I were to, initially, submit a planning application regarding the current use of my mobile home and that I should consider making an application for a bungalow at a later date. I accepted his recommendation, as it was my desire to proceed in the most appropriate way. Tim Flisher also advised me to plant a second row of hedging in the front boundary to provide additional screening. I took him to the boundary and showed him the young beech hedge plants, which I had already planted next to the existing hornbeam hedge. (He later told Mr Grieve during my complaint that screening would make no difference to my application. In other words, he advised me to waste my time and money)

Debbie asked Lee May if he had been able to clarify whether he considered the status of my land to be a Greenfield or a Brownfield site. He stated that since our meeting at DDC offices when this issue was first raised my file had been returned to his tray and he had not been able to consider it further (Obviously not that high a priority!) Rather concerning as the land’s status is an important material consideration.

Lee May never did clarify the classification of my land as Brownfield or Greenfield. However, later during my complaint against the Council, their Professional Standards Investigator confirmed that the Council accepted it was indeed a Brownfield site and not Greenfield.

28th February 2005, submitted my planning application, entitled “Use of Mobile Home, Garden Sheds and Greenhouse for Residential Purposes”.


2007 Enforcement

Dover District Councillors voted to take enforcement action to remove my home, my garden shed and greenhouse. The decision was made in a secret meeting, which I was barred from attending. Their secret procedures are archaic and almost certainly a breach of Article 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998, which guarantees the individual a legal right to a fair hearing. So much for ‘democracy’ in modern day Britain.

The original action by Dover District Council, when they destroyed my bungalow in 1989, was unlawful and therefore it follows that every action that the council has taken against me since, is also unlawful.

Councillors are still making perverse decisions based on incorrect and misleading information, presented to them by officer’s who are obviously trained liars. However, they can no longer claim that they are not liable because they will now be aware, having been put on notice, that the original decision was flawed.

If you would like to read a more detailed version of what led to this action, including the Council’s secret meetings, their failure to reply to correspondence, the ‘lost’ documents etc, then please click here.

This latest enforcement notice also includes a requirement that I remove the gravel drive, which DDC wrongfully claim I have created. However the driveway has always existed and I have explained this to the Council repeatedly. The last time was on the 27 December 2005 when I wrote to Tim Flisher:

27 December 2005

Dear Mr Flisher

…………………With regard to your letter of 19th December 2005 and in particular your reference to the ‘gravel drive’ I am at a loss to understand why this has been specifically referred to within the intended enforcement notices it is proposed to serve. The long-standing, lawfully existing driveway is not in dispute. Over the years, since I first purchased my bungalow in 1984, various types of shingle have been applied to the surface of my driveway. Upon returning to my home in June 2002 I simply renewed the shingle and this is how it remains. As far as I am aware this simple action would not require planning permission to be obtained and I am therefore seeking clarification as to why specific mention is made of it in the summary of your proposed action………..

Yours sincerely

Peter Moulder

Tim Flisher replied with an E-mail which stated:


T Flisher – tim.flisher@dover.gov.uk

03 January 2006 18:16

…”I will, of course, arrange for what you say concerning the driveway to be considered. The Committee has authorised action to include it, but that does not automatically mean that its removal will be required. If it can be demonstrated that it existed at least 10 years ago and there has been no material change in the interim, then action is most unlikely…

Yours sincerely

Tim Flisher


Despite Mr Flisher’s feigned reasonableness and the indisputable evidence of established use, he went ahead with enforcement action anyway. But from previous experience I knew he spoke with a forked tongue.

The driveway had in fact been in existence for at least 25 years before I purchased my bungalow in 1984, so it’s been a driveway for almost 50 years now. There is photographic evidence confirming its existence for at least 22 years and DDC have record of a statement, taken in 1984 from a local Councillor [name supplied], confirming the long-standing existence of the driveway.

The photographs below prove conclusively that the Council are wrong. Again!

This photograph shows how the driveway looked in 1985:

Driveway 1985


The photograph below  shows how the driveway looked in 2007; hardly any noticeable difference, except of course that the Council had destroyed the bungalow by then:

Driveway 2007


Dover District Council’s attitude seems to be, to take action first and if wrong just LIE to avoid the consequences.

If you would like to read a more detailed version of what led to this action, including the Council’s secret meetings, their failure to reply to correspondence, the ‘lost’ documents etc, then please click here.



At this point I decided to submit a complaint to Dover District Council Professional Standards Department about the way in which the planning department had processed my planning application.

After I had submitted this formal complaint on the 29th August 2005 it was merely passed to Mike Dawson, Chief Planning Officer (CPO), whose response did not deal with the concerns I raised.

Given that my complaint related to matters that fell within the remit of the Planning Department, including factual inaccuracies in their planning report, was it appropriate to give it to the head of that department to investigate? Clearly Mr Dawson could not be considered impartial in this instance.

I subsequently wrote to Nadeem Aziz the Chief Executive (CE) of Dover District Council  expressing my concerns and he then referred my complaint to Mr C.J. Grieve on 22nd September 2005.

At this time Nadeem Aziz assured me  that after my complaint had been investigated, Mr Grieve’s final report and his findings would be binding and could not be altered. But the CE was not true to his word because he did ultimately attempt to coerce Mr Grieve to change his published report. And when he would not change his report he was sacked. So clearly, one rule one for me and one rule for the Council.

It became evident to me that Nadeem Aziz is probably the most dishonest Chief Executive in the country (in my opinion)

Mr Grieve was a Professional Standards Investigator and Accredited Mediator, formerly a Chief Superintendent with Kent Police. He was an external investigator although, in practice, a salaried officer of Dover District Council but he operated outside the Council’s normal management structure.

Mr Grieve expended some 200 hours thoroughly investigating my complaint and his findings were published in a report dated the 6th May 2006.

During the course of his investigation Mr Grieve interviewed Michael Dawson the Chief Planning Officer, Tim Flisher the Development Control Manager (DCM), Nikki Coles the Principal Planning Officer (PPO) and Lee May the Council’s then Assistant Solicitor.

In interview the DCM and PPO confirmed that the Council’s planning report relating to my application was more comprehensive than most planning reports but given the extensive and sensitive history of my property it was felt necessary to provide the Planning Committee with as much information as possible.

However, in spite of this declaration by Tim Flisher and Nikki Coles to provide as much information as possible, they chose to remain silent on fundamental evidence and withheld the important and crucial fact that my property benefited from over sixty years of lawful residential use.

This was done in full knowledge of documents held and amounted to deliberate suppression, which meant the planning committee would have been denied access to the full facts.

It is also evident that Tim Flisher and Michael Dawson obstructed the investigation at the stage where Mr Grieve needed to consider the historic and dated events of my case.

Tim Flisher and Michael Dawson stated that consideration of those matters was outside Mr Grieve’s remit and by implication amounted to an abuse of process.

This attempt at concealment and to remain silent on crucial evidence was made in the full knowledge of documents held but Mr Grieve disagreed with their view and continued to investigate the historic and dated events anyway.

From that point on Mr Grieve’s investigation led him to find Dover District Council guilty of maladministration with injustice on a number of counts. Some relevant quotes from his report are listed below.

4.1.19   The evidence of inaccurate and misleading advice was to be found within the letters from neighbours and in the Planning Inspectors finding in 2000, these documents being within the Councils possession at the time the planning report was written. (The ‘inaccurate and misleading advice’ which the Investigator is referring to, is that fabricated by the Planning Department and presented in their report to the planning committee. The evidence given by all the neighbours and the Planning Inspectors finding in 2000 confirmed that it was ‘inaccurate and misleading advice’).

4.1.20   It is my view that the Planning Report should have clearly and unambiguously identified the inaccurate and misleading advice and statements contained in the earlier documents and not simply restated them as fact.

4.1.21   Moreover, it is my view that the report was written in a style that presented the Council in a very favourable light and in so doing presented the complainant as being troublesome and his various applications and appeals as having no, or limited, merit.

4.1.22   Whilst I view this as maladministration, the report was withdrawn by the complainant prior to consideration by the Planning Committee, and in the circumstances I do not consider the complainant suffered an injustice.

6.10    After careful consideration of all the files and documents relating to the history of this site I have come to the conclusion that the Planning Committee reached the decision to demolish the complainant’s home based on inaccurate and misleading advice.

6.11    This was maladministration.

6.13    I am concerned that the planning departments conclusions reached post 1984 were based on assumptions that were not sufficiently tested and that contemporary evidence tending to support residential use was ignored or glossed over.

6.14    The injustice in this case is significant and substantial……………….

6.16    Mr Moulder bought the land in question and the residential property that had stood on it since about 1928, in June 1984. His solicitor carried out the usual checks with the Council and in its replies the Council gave no indication that the property had ceased to enjoy residential use. Indeed in a letter sent to the complainant’s solicitor dated 8th October 1984, the then Director of Legal and Administrative Services stated:

“I have conferred with the Director of Planning on the alleged statement that the residential use of the site may have ended, and I can confirm that the Council are not saying that the residential user rights have been abandoned, only that the operation carried out on site is, as a matter of fact and degree, a building operation and thereby constitutes development requiring planning permission”

6.17    It is evident Mr Moulder bought the property with a view to renovating it and living in it with his family. However, the renovations carried out required planning permission that was not sought prior to the work being carried out and was subsequently, when retrospectively applied for, refused. It is not for me to challenge the correctness of that view or subsequent actions, but I would make the point that the evidence shows that whilst the height of the roof was increased, the building retained its original footprint.

6.19    I am also concerned at the wording of the report as it implied that Mr Moulder had blatantly breached planning regulations and had acted differently to previous applicants. Mr Moulder’s case has always been that he believed at the time that all he was doing was repairing his residential property and that he did not require planning permission. Unlike previous applicants he was not seeking to totally demolish the property and replace it with a new and enlarged property. Mr Moulder now accepts that he made a mistake, but believes he should have been given the opportunity to return the property to the condition it was in prior to his bungalow being demolished. He states he was never given this opportunity and there is nothing in the files to show that he was.

6.20    In November 2000 a different planning inspector accepted the property had been occupied from 1928 to the time of Mr Moulder’s occupation. Mr Moulder moved in to the Oaks in June 1984 and remained in residence until the Council demolished the bungalow on the 31st July 1989.

6.22    It is my view based on the contemporary evidence of neighbours, the finding of the planning inspector in November 2000 and the statement made by the Director of Planning and Administrative Services in her letter of 8th October 1984, that at the time residential user rights had not been abandoned and indeed existed.

6.23    This, in my lay opinion, (Mr Grieve has a Law Degree) was a significant and fundamental error that informed and paved the way for the enforcement actions taken in the 1980’s culminating in the demolition of Mr Moulder’s bungalow. It is my view this amounts to maladministration with injustice in that decisions were made based on inaccurate and misleading advice. Furthermore, this inaccurate and misleading information was subsequently provided to the Planning Inspectorate during the appeals process. This was also maladministration.

6.25    The question needs to be asked; ‘what would the situation have been but for this maladministration?’ On a balance of probability it is my view the planning committee might have more favourably considered Mr Moulder’s retrospective planning application supported, as it would have been, by the Council’s acceptance that the property had been used for residential purposes to the date of his moving into the property and as such enjoyed ongoing residential user rights.

6.26    The grounds provided by the planning department recommending its refusal, accepted by the planning committee and, subsequently, by the planning inspector, would not then have been available to the Council. It is my view the Council’s insistence that the property had been vacant for several decades and by implication had ceased to enjoy residential user rights was fatal to the complainant’s retrospective planning application.

6.30    It is my view the wording and style of the Enforcement Report did not present a clear and unambiguous explanation of the facts – this information being available to the planning officer at the time of the report being written.

6.31    Furthermore the report was written in a style that presents the Council in a very favourable light and in so doing presents the complainant as being troublesome and his various applications and appeals as having no, or limited, merit.

     This was maladministration.

6.32    The injustice caused is to be found in the additional stress, anxiety and uncertainty that has been caused to Mr Moulder in seeking to make his case to avoid the potential loss of his current home.

Although the Professional Standards Investigator found Dover District Council guilty of maladministration with injustice on a number of counts the Council’s Chief Executive, Nadeem Aziz, left it until the 4th December 2006, some seven months after the Grieve report was published, to tell me that no further action would be taken in connection with the investigation or, indeed, in connection with my complaint, probably because of the calamitous implications its acceptance would have for the Council.

Nadeem Aziz refused to accept the findings of his own investigation, so obviously the Council’s complaints procedure only works when it finds in favour of them, but:

Facts do not cease to exist just because the Council ignores them!

RIP The Truth web

I followed exactly the procedure that the Council’s Chief Executive Nadeem Aziz advised me to take, but he hasn’t complied with his part of the agreement.

It is clear that Nadeem Aziz is displeased with the honest findings of his own Professional Standards Investigator who went on ‘sick leave’ soon after the report was published, although I am, of course, not suggesting there is any connection between Mr Grieve’s sickness and the actual investigation (although there probably is).

I have though been reliably informed, by Dover District Councillor Roger Frayne that Mr Grieve no longer works for the Council as a direct result of his work with my case. The Chief Executive’s treatment of his Chief Investigator is arrogant, dishonest and insulting to a man as highly qualified and respected as Mr Grieve indeed was.

As the Professional Standards Investigator had upheld my complaint and therefore justified the decision to withdraw my planning application I wrote to the CE on the 19th November 2006 requesting a refund of my planning application fee. That request was ignored and I did not even receive the courtesy of an acknowledgement to my letter. It appears that Mr Aziz is only interested in perpetuating the ‘establishment stitch-up’.


Councillors Given Notice

The original action by Dover District Council, when they demolished my bungalow in 1989, was unlawful and therefore it follows that every action that the council has taken against me since, is also unlawful.

Councillors are still making decisions based on incorrect and misleading information. However, they can no longer claim that they are not liable because they will now be aware that the original decision was flawed.

In addition, on the 12th August 2005 Kevin Elks, a staunch supporter, wrote to each Member of the Planning Committee putting them on notice that they could no longer claim they had made a decision based on false information.

Mr Elks’ letter is copied below:

Ref: Planning Committee Meeting 28 July 2005

12 August 2005

Dear Councillor,

I registered to speak at the above meeting in support of application DOV/05/0244 The Oaks, Warren Lane, Lydden. I later received a telephone call from Dover District Council to inform me that the application had been withdrawn but decided to attend with the intention of raising some very disturbing procedural matters. When the Chairman of the Planning Committee arrived and started the meeting I was to say the least appalled at the attitude and lack of concern regarding discontents or for that matter procedural concerns. I made notes before leaving the car park and for your information they are transcribed below:

28-07-05  DDC planning meeting.

On attending the meeting my name was identified on the list (at the door) as being registered to speak at the meeting. [Note: I was already aware that the application regarding ‘The Oaks’ had been withdrawn by a telephone call from Mrs Hodding at the Council].The Chairman apologised for being late and then went on to state that the application for ‘The Oaks’ had been withdrawn and would not be discussed. He pointed out that those who had come to hear that application might want to leave.I stood up and asked for points of order to be heard. The Chairman dismissed this stating, “There will be no points of order”. I asked if these points could be heard at the point in the meeting where the application would have normally been heard? He replied, “there will be no points of order, it will not be discussed”.I concluded that the short and abrupt nature of the reply indicated that he/the committee were not interested in hearing my comments about the procedural running of the committee or the democratic process. At the least I would have expected to be asked ‘what is the nature of these points’ and then a decision made.

I have sent a copy of the original note and the transcribed version to Mr Moulder for him to use as he sees fit, including any court action. 

Since attending the meeting I have learned even more disturbing facts about the actions of the Planning Department of the Dover District Council (DDC). It appears to me that the actions of the DDC to destroy Mr Moulder’s home were in contravention of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 part 3 and 5 of the Act. The relevant sections are confirmed in part 3 and 7 of the 1990 Act so there can be no doubt of the intent of the 1971 Act as there is a clear continuity of purpose.

The action of the DDC to date, not withstanding the unlawful basis for taking action against him and his family, went far beyond that of any test of reasonableness including the ‘Wednesbury’ test, which should have been considered before any action was taken. There now exists even greater ‘tests’ of reasonableness within the Human Rights Act for actions taken and yet to be taken since it’s enactment and that places greater restrictions on the use or abuse of power.

I know from a leaked e-mail in the DDC that there is collusion between departments and that the ruling party has little interest in addressing the specific complaint I have made and I know from experience how suspicious activities in the DDC rise to the surface with sickening regularity.

I will at this point raise the ‘Cowper Gate’ case under the Dover Borough Council. You may be aware that after considerable damages were awarded against the Council Solicitor Mr Maurice Sayers took legal action in an attempt to make councillors personally liable for the cost of the award. He failed to get such a court ruling however and from memory I recall that part of the defence was that councillors made decisions based on false advice from officials.

I would caution you that such a defence would be ineffective as from your receipt of this letter on the grounds that I have alerted you to irregularities and possible offences in law. When you make further decisions regarding actions against Mr Moulder you will be doing so in full knowledge that false statements, inaccuracy and victimisation has taken place and contraventions of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 on the part of the Dover District Council, have been alleged. All these are well documented and should be investigated.

I understand that Mr Moulder is aware of proposed further action against him and concerned about the holding of a judgemental committee in secret session without representation of the accused, in other words a secret court with no defence allowed. You will be aware that such procedures contravene the Human Rights Act, European Human Rights and the UN Convention on Human Rights. To add weight to this you will also be aware of the move by the judiciary to bring the Family Court System into line with human rights requirements and their criticism of the ‘secrecy’ element of such courts. Even so these courts allow defence and representation of which your system is devoid.

Lastly, I would remind you of the fiduciary duty of the council/councillors and the elements of law, which are obligatory in this respect. The action taken against Mr Moulder and his family so far could hardly be described as fiduciary and steps must be taken to fulfil those requirements in the future and look into inappropriate expenditure on past actions. In all such matters this is of public interest. #Please reply in writing to this letter and if you require a meeting to discuss this affair please contact me. You may wish to get independent legal advice but be advised that should any expenses for such advice appear in the accounts of the DDC, action will be taken as appropriate.

Yours sincerely

Kevin Elks.


Modern Oak-Frame

oak framed house

Timber can be the most environmentally responsible material for the structural frame of a building, but only if it comes from properly managed and sustainable sources.

Trees are nature’s carbon dioxide filters, absorbing carbon dioxide and locking it in.peg tiling

It’s the most sustainable of the major structural building materials, widely available, easily replaced and providing a positive environmental impact.

Oak is a naturally durable, ecologically-sound hardwood that does not need preservative treatment. It’s also very versatile, which allows the forming of complex shapes.

The time-honoured methods of oak timber-frame construction have certainly stood the test of time, having proven their worth over centuries and today’s oak-framed houses use construction methods based on those used for hundreds of years.

The most traditional method of building an oak timber frame uses joints held together with timber pegs and provides what is often referred to as an ‘honest’ timber frame i.e. one without hidden supports.

Mortise and tenon joints first became popular in the Middle Ages when a revolution in oak timber-framing took hold but they were used as far back as prehistoric times. The durability of oak and the craftsman’s skill has meant that many of our most treasured historic buildings date from this period.

Building an oak-framed home using traditional methods ensures an oak frame of unique character.

Oak timber frames last many hundreds of years and there are many examples surviving today that prove this point.

Footnote: No doubt you will know that the direction that water swirls round plug holes depends on which side of the planet you live on.  It seems that trees do that as well!

I did know that trees naturally twist in a spiral, which is why they don’t stay straight for long, but I never realised that the direction of the twist varies in different parts of the hemisphere.



Oak-Framed Houses

A very brief history of timber-framed buildings.

Early timber framed buildings, based on post-hole construction, were widespread and the most common type was the roundhouse in which many Iron Age people lived. The main timbers of a roundhouse would have smaller, coppiced timber, such as hazel, woven in between the rafters and posts to make the structure more rigid. The walls were then plastered with a mixture of cow dung, straw and mud, which provided a sound walling material, after it had dried to a hard consistency. The roofs would have been weathered with either a layer of turf or thatched with straw.timber framed

Buildings based on post-hole construction are still used today, as many farms still have pole barns, which are often built from second-hand telegraph poles. These poles were originally heavily creosoted and will last for many years.

When the Romans invaded Britain they brought with them far more advanced construction techniques than we had known. Their jointing of timber was much more sophisticated than ours and included triangulated roof trusses and mortise and tenon joints.

When the Roman influence diminished in the early part of the fifth century these advanced construction techniques seem to have been lost. During the rule of the Saxons and the Vikings, construction methods were very basic, they used simple jointing methods, reverting back to the post-hole system.

It was not until the 12th century that mortise and tenon joints reappeared, during the rule of the Plantagenet’s. (The Plantagenet dynasty, founded by Henry II of the French House of Anjou, seized the English throne in 1154 and ruled England until the accession of Henry Tudor in 1485).

There was an increase in wealth during this period and subsequently trade flourished across the continent.

It was due to this trade that new techniques of timber frame construction began appearing from Europe.

mortise tenon jointDuring the twelfth century timber framed buildings became more sophisticated and mortise and tenon joints became an established practice.

Instead of being buried in the ground, posts were now jointed into a soleplate that went around the building just above ground level.

This advance in jointing methods required not only better tools, but also greater skills. Framing techniques, which appear to have developed on a trial and error basis, quickly improved during this period with crown posts, diagonal braces and tie beams being introduced, leading to quite sophisticated designs.

Timber framed buildings were evolving into intricate structures comprising many pieces of timber and, generally, the style of these buildings reflected the area where they were being built.

The country was divided roughly into two main zones or regions with the ‘lowland zone’ comprising the South and East and the ‘highland zone’ comprising Wales, the North, the Midlands and the South West. Although there were obviously areas of overlap, it is generally recognized that aisled buildings with crown-post roofs were customary in the lowland zone, whereas Cruck framed buildings were prevalent in the highland zone.

The most famous type of timber-framed house in lowland areas is the ‘Wealden House’ and they were widespread in the fifteenth century, reflecting the agricultural prosperity of the area and the influence of London. It was most common in the Weald but widely distributed elsewhere in the south-east and found as far afield as East Anglia and Somerset.

It basically comprised a central hall; with the two-storeyed ends of the house both jettied out laterally. Jetties were an architectural symbol of status and an integral part of the Wealden design. The property was covered by a hipped roof, which gave the impression that the hall was recessed.

Within the basic type of Wealden House there were many variations of detail. The earlier ones, which evolved before 1400, had widely-spaced timbers, large arch braces that supported the eaves wallplate over the hall.

And prominent, symmetrical braces which were known as Kentish framing, as shown in the adjacent sketches.

The timber-framed buildings, which are a characteristic feature of many parts of the English countryside and of our historic towns are all very individual and would have been crafted, for their owners, from the trees growing nearby.

These unique properties are often described, as ‘half-timber’ but there are differing opinions as to how that term arose. It may come from the practice of halving the trees for their timber or from the half-timber and half-plaster construction of the external walls. In half-timbered buildings the walls were generally filled in between the structural timbers with either brick or wattle-and-daub.

Timber-framed buildings are also known as ‘black and white’ and the term refers to the layers of black and white paint, which are applied to timbers and panels respectively, although they were not originally black and white but rather, the beams would have been the natural colour of the oak and the infill panels the colour of the local soil, which was often mixed with ox blood and lime. A few can still be seen today, in this original condition.

Timber was the primary material in the construction of small medieval buildings and the timber used was almost invariably local-grown oak. Oak-framed houses have been around for centuries and are very durable structures. There is no doubt about the longevity of oak-framed buildings as the earliest surviving ones date from the thirteenth century.

Creating an oak-framed building, from trees, required skilled carpenters who had served a long apprenticeship in order to learn the skills of their craft. The skills were passed down through the generations and it was this great craft tradition that created the unique character of each building. Unfortunately this great craft tradition came to rather an abrupt end in the early nineteenth century.

Thankfully there has been a resurgence in recent times of traditionally constructed green oak-framed buildings. They are extremely environmentally friendly and in combination with modern materials they make a very energy efficient home.

Click on the link for further information about modern oak-framed houses


The English Oak

The English Oak or Pedunculate Oak (Quercus) has always been seen as the national tree of England and its great height, age and strength have made it the king of the English forest and a symbol of endurance. The Oak has been recorded in British history since the interglacial periods, around 300,000 years ago! It was the most common tree in our forests about 5,000 years ago and still is today.

The mighty English Oak is embedded into the history and folklore of England. It is highly valued for its strength and durability and has always been used in the construction of furniture and houses. For very many years, and up until the middle of the 19th century, the English oak was used to construct ships for the Royal Navy. During that period there were eight warships called HMS Royal Oak.


It is probably the best-known native tree and although found in mixed woodland throughout the UK and on many of the British lowlands, it is most common in the South and East. It’s an important feature of the English landscape, renowned for its longevity and noted for its distinctive leaves and groups of acorns.
The ‘king of trees’ has a special place in the English psyche, and is a magnificent tree with a broad, irregular crown. The bark is grey and fissured, and develops burrs as it ages. The massive main branches often develop low on the trunk and become twisted and gnarled with age. The leaves have 5-7 pairs of lobes, forming a typical wavy-edged outline; the upper surface is dark green and the underside is paler.

When growing in open areas it has a wide, rounded crown, but woodland specimens are usually tall and slender. It is a deep-rooted tree and can tolerate most soils, except shallow soil, but it prefers moist, mineral rich soils with pH in the range 4.9-5.4. It will put up with being waterlogged for long periods of time and mature trees will tolerate flooding even by seawater.

The branches of the trees are quite irregularly spaced and sized, and suddenly going from being quite thick to twiggy. The twisted furrowed bark is greyish in colour and this thick bark will often save trees from forest fires and if the top is damaged then new shoots will come out from below. The leaves grow on very short stalks and have deep lobes with the pair nearest the base pointing backwards. The acorns form in small clusters on long stalks.

Under sheltered conditions and deep soil, Oaks can reach impressive heights and grow into magnificent trees of 45 metres or more in height but usually its leading shoot is eaten, forcing out side branches to form a large spreading dome up to 20 metres in height.

The tallest trees are not particularly old however, probably no more than about 300 years. The really ancient oaks are not particularly tall as they occur in places that were ancient wood pastures, where widely spaced trees were pollarded for centuries to provide timber and firewood.

The largest Oak recorded was a Newlands Oak and its trunk had a massive girth of 45 feet (13.5 metres) when it fell. Today, the UK’s largest Oak is called the Major Oak, it stands in the heart of Sherwood Forest and according to local folklore it was Robin Hood’s headquarters. It weighs an estimated 23 tons, has a girth of 33 feet and is about 800-1000 years old.

The Oak can live for hundreds of years and has always been important for its timber. The Oak’s sturdy timber is strong and lasts a long time, making it good to build the frames of houses, barns and halls, but it’s also renowned for its use in furniture, gates and in casks used for maturing wines and spirits. The bark is used in the tanning of leather.

In the 18th century, huge Oak timbers were in demand for ships. Trees were specially cultivated and selected for ‘shipwright’ timber with natural curved branches for the ribs of the hull and ‘knees’ to strengthen the joints.

The Oak tree, has a period of quite rapid growth for around 80-120 years and that is followed by a gradual slowing down. By the time the tree is 80 years old, it may well be over 20″ (50cm) in diameter. Acorns are not produced until the tree is about 25-40 years old with seed production reaching a maximum between 80-120 years. After about 250-350 years, the decline of the tree sets in, branches die back and the diameter growth slows right down.

The English Oak is deciduous and loses its leaves usually around November, when they turn yellow, orange and brown before dropping off. Oak leaves rot quickly on the ground, helping to form soil and providing food for other plants to grow.

The tree comes into leaf fairly late, usually in April but often not until mid May. There are male and female flowers on the same tree and the pale green catkin, typically produced in May, is the Oak’s male flower. The less conspicuous, reddish-brown coloured female flowers, are barely noticeable, short spikes near the tip of each twig on the end of long stalks.

The fruit of the oak tree is the acorn and this contains the seed of the tree. The acorns are smooth, shiny, and oval shaped, chestnut brown in colour and up to 40mm long with up to a third of their length sitting in the acorn cup. New acorns may have greenish stripes on them, but these soon disappear. The cups are rough and on stalks that are usually about twice the length of the acorn itself.

The acorns usually appear in September and the tree tends to fruit very abundantly every 4-7 years, whilst in other years, fewer acorns are produced and in some none at all. The egg-shaped acorns sit in scaly cups and develop at the ends of long stalks called ‘peduncles’. It is these stalks that give the tree its alternative name the ‘Pedunculate Oak’.

When acorns loosen in their cups, the oak tree provides an important winter food source for many wild creatures. In ancient times the acorns were a harvest for the wild boar, but now, jays, pigeons, pheasants, ducks, squirrels, mice, badgers, deer and pigs feast on acorns in the autumn.

Because the acorns are taken for food by several different birds and mammals, there is a chance of them being dropped a long distance away. In fact, although acorns fall beneath the Oak tree, because there are so many predators, the odds of them taking root in and around an existing Oak is very slim. It is mainly Jays who are responsible for the resurgence of new oaks as they carry the acorns away, bury them for their winter food store and often forget about them, resulting in an oak tree seedling emerging from the ground.

The acorns that survive being eaten, root very soon after falling and the seedlings develop a substantial tap root, though a shoot is not produced until the spring. The seedlings are fairly tolerant of shade and can survive the loss of some early shoots, however, they are susceptible to other damaging influences such as caterpillar defoliation or attack by the oak mildew fungus (Microspaera Alphitoides).

The mature English Oak tree supports a larger number of different life forms than any other British tree. This includes up to 280 species of insect. Up to 320 taxa (species, sub-species or ecologically distinct varieties) of lichens, growing on the bark of any one tree.

The mature wood is covered in a thick bark that has deep grooves (fissures), which is ideal for all sorts of insects to hide in. The vast array of insect life found in the Oak tree means that of all British trees, it supplies the most food for birds such as Tits and Tree Creepers.

In the winter months a variety of fungi can be seen attached or around the Oak tree. Some of the fungi prefer living wood whereas others prefer the dead wood. An old stump or branch might well have the fairly harmless Sulphur Tuft attached to it and not to be confused with Honey fungus, which is a deadly root killing fungus, of similar colour.

In early spring flightless female moths crawl up the tree to mate and lay their eggs. The eggs hatch in spring coinciding with the young Oak buds opening into leaf. Hundreds of young caterpillars chew on the new leaves; so many in fact that if you stand near an Oak tree you can hear the droppings falling onto the ground below like rain. Later in the season the leaves develop tannin, which acts as a repellent to the caterpillars. Soon, the Moth pupates in the leaf litter below the tree and in the spring the whole cycle starts again.

All the caterpillars chewing away can take its toll and leave the Oak tree leaves holed and distinctly tatty, but the Oak protects itself by producing another crop of leaves in August (referred to as lammas growth – the time when trees harvest their fruits).

The activity in an Oak tree is tremendous owing to sap-sucking bugs and aphids, boring weevils, bark eating beetles, spiders, snails, bark-lice, crickets, earwigs, hornets, lacewings – all of which enjoy the hospitality of the Oak. Around 200 different types of caterpillar alone use the Oak and in doing so provide essential food for a variety of small birds feeding their young in the late spring and summer.

Often, strange structures appear on an oak tree and these attractive round balls seen swinging amongst the catkins or attached to the buds are known as Galls and house different types of wasp larva.

There are various types of gall and they are caused by a gall wasp that lays its eggs inside the acorn, causing it to mutate. These wasps do not usually cause damage to the tree and are nothing to worry about. The most common are the Currant galls, the red Cherry galls and the Marble galls. If you were to cut one of those galls open, you would find the wasp larva curled up inside.

The Oak tree has had more stories told about it than any other tree.

There’s that piece of Irish folklore often used to forecast the weather!

If the oak before the ash,
Then we’ll only have a splash.
If the ash before the oak,
Then we’ll surely have a soak!

The traditional Yule Log used as a Christmas decoration was originally an oak log. It used to be dressed with mistletoe and holly.

People used to carry acorns, as they were believed to bring good luck and to ward off illness.

The Oak tree has been important to lots of different groups of people, including Greeks, Romans, Celts and Druids.

Many meetings and ceremonies have taken place under oak trees, which were thought to be magical.

Roman soldiers often wore crowns of oak leaves when celebrating victory in war.


Dover Castle

Dover Castle


Dover Castle is regarded as one of the greatest and most impressive castles in existence.










It has an incredibly long and rich history, and  recently English Heritage have done a magnificent job of recreating Henry II’s medieval palace.

The Great Tower Interior


For the past couple of years historians have been working in conjunction with blacksmiths, carpenters, embroiderers and painters to give Dover Castle a £2.45 million ‘medieval makeover’ and the result is outstanding.

Guest Hall


The following is an excellent brief description of Dover Castle by English Heritage

The History of Dover Castle

Commanding the shortest sea crossing between England and the continent, Dover Castle has a long and immensely  eventful history. Many centuries before King Henry II began the great stone castle here in the 1160s, its  spectacular site atop the famous ‘White Cliffs’ was an Iron Age hill fort, and it still houses a Roman lighthouse,  one of the best-preserved in Europe. The Anglo-Saxon church beside it was once probably part of a Saxon fortified  settlement: very soon after his victory at Hastings in 1066, this was converted by William the Conqueror into a  Norman earthwork and timber-stockaded castle.

From then on Dover Castle was garrisoned uninterruptedly until 1958, a continuous nine-century span equalled only  by the Tower of London and Windsor Castle. The stronghold hosted royal visits by Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and  Charles I’s Queen Henrietta Maria: and from 1740 until 1945, its defences were successively updated in response to  every European war involving Britain.

The Medieval Castle

Dover Castle is above all a great medieval fortress, created by King Henry II and his Plantagenet successors. At  its heart stands the mighty keep or Great Tower, 83 feet (25.3m) high and just under 100 feet (30m) square, with  walls up to 21 feet (6.5m) thick. The grandest and among the last of the keeps raised by the kings of England  during the 11th and 12th centuries, it was designed by Henry II’s architect ‘Maurice the Engineer’ and built  between 1180 and 1185. A symbol of kingly power and authority guarding the gateway to the realm, it was also a  palace designed for royal ceremony, and to house Henry’s travelling court. Within this magnificent showpiece, Henry  could welcome and impress distinguished visitors to England– particularly noble pilgrims travelling to the new  shrine in Canterbury Cathedral of St.Thomas Becket, slaughtered before the altar by Henry’s household knights only  a dozen or so years before the Great Tower was begun.

Once the king’s closest friend, Becket had later become his bitter enemy: and though Henry probably did not intend  his murder, he did extravagant penance for a crime which shocked all 12th-century Europe, walking barefoot to  Canterbury and allowing himself to be flogged there by all 70 cathedral monks. Having done his penance, Henry both  capitalised on the situation and re-established his prestige by building the Great Tower. Here the distinguished  visitors who began flocking to Becket’s tomb very soon after his martyrdom could be in no doubt about the king’s  power, wealth and authority.

The Great Tower

As one of English Heritage’s most ambitious projects for many years, the entire interior of Henry’s Great Tower  palace has now been breathtakingly recreated. Historians, designers, artists and craftspeople have combined to  present it as it might have appeared when newly completed, and ready to receive an important visitor, Count Philip  of Flanders, in 1184.



1928 was the year ‘The Bungalow’ was built and a Transfer of Legal Charge, attached to the property’s deeds, states the following:



2. A piece of land with bungalow in course of construction thron situate in Lydden afsd being the premises firstly convd to the Testator by Deed dated 13th August 1925 and made between Henry Gray (1) and the Testator (2)

DULY EXECUTED by the Borrowers and the parties thrto of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th parts.

TRANSFER of Legal Charge of this date (endorsed on before abstd Legal Charge) between within-named Ernest Edward Pain


1934. Mr & Mrs Pickard and their daughter moved in to the bungalow. They rented the property from the freeholder, Mr Pearce of Wellington House, Lydden.

According to Mr E.R Holmes, the Pickard’s son-in-law, a family moved out of the bungalow just prior to his wife’s parents moving in.

Mr Pickard was a miner and he lived with his family in the bungalow until 1958.

1958. The Pickard family moved out and the owner of the property, Mr Pearce, sold the property to Mr R.A. Gibbs who lived in the bungalow until 1965.

The following is an extract from a Conveyance of the ‘The Bungalow’ to Reginald Alfred Gibbs:


This Conveyance is made the 3rd Day of July One thousand nine hundred and fifty-eight BETWEEN IVAN CLEMENT PEARCE of 43 St Michael’s Street, Folkestone in the County of Kent, Company Secretary and Director (hereinafter called “the vendor”) of the one part and REGINALD ALFRED GIBBS of 57 Tankerton Terrace, Mitcham Road, Croydon in the County of Surrey (hereinafter called “the purchaser”) of the other part.

NOW THIS DEED WITNESSETH in pursuance of the said agreement … …..the Vendor as beneficial owner hereby conveys unto the Purchaser ALL THAT piece or parcel of land with the bungalow erected upon part thereof lying and being on the south side of the road leading from Lydden to Alkham in the parish of Lydden in the County of Kent


1965. The Bungalow was purchased by Miss Winnifred Dickinson.

15 June 1984. I purchased ‘The Bungalow’ from Miss Dickinson.

9 August 1984. (just 7 weeks later!) The Planning Committee voted to demolish my bungalow. The decision was made based solely on false information presented by council officers, and without considering any representation from me.

1985. The Council served an enforcement notice which falsely stated that I had erected a new dwelling.

31 July 1989. Dover District Council unlawfully demolished the Bungalow.

27 February 1990. Dover District Council wrongfully issue an enforcement notice ordering the removal of the lawfully sited mobile home in which we lived.

28 February 2005. I submitted a planning application, following advice from Tim Flisher, DDC’s Development Control Manager but the ‘dirty tricks’ soon started again and without me realising it the case officer had tampered with the wording of my application.

This application was to regularise the mobile home but the title of the application was altered three times by the Council without any consultation with me. These changes completely altered the nature of my intended application and was a clear attempt to try and wipe out the existing lawful ‘use of the land’ which would have happened following the inevitable refusal.

This would have largely covered DDC’s illegal activities and their conspiracy to defraud.

29 August 2005. I submitted a formal complaint to the Council’s Professional Standards Department.

The Council’s Chief Executive, Nadeem Aziz, commissioned an investigation into my case and appointed his chief investigator, Mr C.J. Grieve, to investigate my complaint.

Mr Grieve is a Professional Standards Investigator and Accredited Mediator, formerly a Chief Superintendent with Kent Police. He is an external investigator although he is, in practice, a salaried officer of Dover District Council but he operates outside the Council’s normal management structure.

Mr Grieve, who holds a law degree, expended some 200 hours investigating my complaint before publishing his findings.

Mr Grieve telephoned me on Saturday the 6th May 2006 and informed me that his report would be available in the next couple of weeks. He confirmed that the final report, once submitted, cannot be altered.

Subsequently however,  Nadeem Aziz the Council’s Chief Executive, overruled Mr Grieve and he was forced to change his report.

6 May 2006. The ‘Grieve Report’ is published and finds Dover District Council guilty of maladministration with injustice on a number of counts.

June 2007. Dover District Council wrongfully issue an enforcement notice ordering the removal of my mobile home, garden shed and greenhouse.


Sworn Statements

Sworn statement of truth by the carpenter who worked on the bungalow:

Statement of Truth


Sworn statement of truth (2 parts) by my immediate neighbour who has lived next door for over 50 years.

Statement of Truth

Statement of Truth


Sworn statement of truth by Kevin Elks, a near neighbour, who observed the repair work being carried out.

Statement of Truth

Statement of Truth
Statement of Truth