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Another story of what is ours is actually some(busy)body elses

Nick Timms recounts a new yet sadly familiar tale of how the state just sees us as things to be managed for its convenience. The state is not your friend.

My friend Ron, a semi-retired gentlemen, who after a working life fairly high on the corporate greasy pole, now pursues several different activities including taking his pedigree dogs to shows and sitting as a magistrate, told me today about a visit he had recently from an employee of his local planning office.

I should explain that first he had a visit from the local environmental health department because a lady neighbour of his had complained about the smell of his kennels.

Ron has kept fairly rare pedigree dogs for showing for the last fifteen years and he is meticulous about hygiene and cleanliness. His home is in a semi-rural area backing onto some woods and running behind his house is a pathway used by some of the locals as a shortcut. This area is also frequented by foxes and the dog foxes mark their territory with a particularly pungent urine. Apparently when Ron’s bitches are in season the dog foxes make a special effort and spray the whole area thus causing the offending stink.

Ron showed the environmental health officer around his kennels and the officer was apparently satisfied that he kept his dogs in a good and healthy manner.

However, very shortly after this he was visited by the local planning department. His visitor told him that as he kept more than six dogs at his home he had to apply for change of usage. Ron asked for what usage he should apply and was told he should apply as a breeder. Ron explained that he was not a breeder as he only occasionally had litters and he kept the pick and sold the rest only to what he considered would be good homes. He did not do this as a commercial venture so he was not a breeder.

He was told he would still have to apply for change of usage because case law indicated that local town planners could decide for what purpose he used his home and they had decided that having more than six dogs was one of their criteria. (Apparently all homes are granted rights of usage when they are registered and the local planning office can withdraw or alter these rights.)

Ron asked how much this application cost and was informed that it was around £250 [note: about $400]. Ron then asked would his application be approved and was told “No” because the local planning office wanted him to appeal so that they could have a test case. The appeal application would cost Ron another £200-£300. And he could still lose the case.

Ron resorted in the end to telling his officious visitor that he was a local magistrate and that under the Human Rights Act – and he made up some paragraph – the local planning office was unlikely to win the argument.

This seems to have silenced the secret police for the moment, although they may just have decided to pick a softer target. Ron is anxiously awaiting further developments but as he commiserated to me, his council tax went up by nearly 20% this year which is probably paying for more little führers who cannot get a real job.

Nick Timms

Dogs, not the state, are man's best friend

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3 comments to Another story of what is ours is actually some(busy)body elses

  • ernest young

    The Local Planning Officers are, and for many years , have been, the ‘enforcement ‘ arm of any Local Council. If any department of local government has a disagreement with you, then you can expect a visit from the LPO Gestapo. Their methods are pure intimidation, and cause their victims the maximum stress and worry, the Mafia would be proud of their modus operandi. Civility is not a word in their vocabulary.

    Their methods are often used in a corrupt fashion, to obtain perks such as holidays abroad, cars and other fairly untraceable ‘handouts’, from people requiring a ‘quick’ or favourable decision on a planning matter, or to avoid compliance with some imagined breach of Planning Regulations. All sounds paranoid, but I have had personal experience, over many years, of the methods of these ‘civil servants’.

    Something I have also noticed, it is strange that in a social setting, I have yet to meet one these ‘officers’ off-duty. It would be reasonable to assume that during the many activities going on in a community, that you would meet at least one of these folk on a social level. but not so, they are in mufti, and keep their jobs a secret. I guess that they are just too ashamed to admit what they do for a living, and like tax officials, are probably worried about reprisals.

  • Kevin L. Connors

    In the US, most land use restrictions of that sort have grandfather clauses protecting those who’s usage predates the restriction.

  • Wim

    Time for the neighbors to make their case with the leftist totalitarians who want to outlaw fux hunting.