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  FRIDAY, 23 JANUARY 2004

By Chris Pollard    email: chris.pollard@jpress.co.uk 

 

AN INVENTOR who says Wealden District Council has 'rained hell' on him for 21 years has launched legal action against council officers and cabinet members.

If he is successful, Nelson Kruschandl will set an important legal precedent which may see individual councillors taking personal and financial responsibility for their decisions for the fist time.

Six top cabinet members, including Nigel Coltman, and six council officers, including Charles Lant, are being sued under the Human Rights Act by Mr Kruschandl.  He says the council has denied him the right to enjoy his home at the old electricity generator building in Herstmonceux since he applied to convert it into a residential dwelling in 1982.

'They refused to grant permission on the grounds that the building had no historical value' says Mr Kruschandl.  'They also argued this at appeal.  they simply railroaded it through.  'I knew it was rubbish at the time. Since then, the property has been included in the English Heritage monument protection program for buildings of historical importance.  'If a council makes a decision based on false information, the decision should become void.  but they have failed time and again, to stand up and admit they were wrong'.

FIGHT

Mr Kruschandl, aged 48, says he is a 'resilient' character.  He added: 'most people would have given up the fight after a couple of years, but not me.  I've been to appeal, to the High Court, to the local ombudsman - but all these safety nets do not seem to work'.  'The council takes regular enforcement action against me and has an annual budget of 10,000 set aside just to fight me.  It's ridiculous.'

Mr Kruschandl claims he is not the only person at odds with Wealden District Council.  he has set up a website for those involved in council disputes, which he describes as 'a steaming pile of case history'.  He says it has received more than 12,000 hits to date.

Over the years and after various lost court appearances, judges have ordered Mr Kruschandl to pay costs totaling 30,000 to the council.  Wealden is now in the process of taking him to court to reclaim these funds.

Cllr Coltman, of Hailsham, said: 'Mr Kruschandl's case is still in the very early stages.  He has jumped through the the first hoop, but he still has to prove there is a case to answer.  'If he manages to do this, his case will be presented to the High Court on February 11, at which point we will be allowed to have our say.  'We are happy to have all our decisions, and everything we've done, exposed to the legal light of day.  We have nothing to hide and feel absolutely justified in the decisions we have made.'

Mr Kruschandl researches renewable forms of energy and practical ways for them in everyday vehicles.  His pet creation is Solar Navigator, a solar powered boat which he hopes will be the first of its kind to sail around the world.

 

 

 


 

 

A NOTE FROM OUR EDITOR:  We accept that it is difficult for reporters writing articles of such a complex nature to capture every detail.  In the above case the council concerned issued enforcement notices between 1982 and 1986, the latter appealed to the Secretary of State.  We are advised the references to appeals, High Court and ombudsman were not in respect of the present Human Rights action concerning discrimination and negligence.  

 

The present 'no mans land' planning blight situation, is preventing conservation works, to include removing the unsightly tin cladding from the original timbers.  The first planning application was made in 1988, the last in 1999 (not appealed).  On each of these occasions the council denied the history attaching to the building.  

 

The last appeal to the Secretary of State in 1997 elicited a decision letter also denying the history, which decision was based on the council's expert conservationist - we now know she was wrong - worse still, it appears the council had the origins of the building on file as early as 1983, but chose not to share this information with the Secretary of State or consult local archaeological groups!!

 

 

IF YOU HAVE ANY GOOD STORIES TO TELL WE'D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU.  WHY NOT BUILD A WEBSITE OF YOUR OWN TO TELL OF PROBLEMS IN YOUR AREA - IT'S YOUR RIGHT.  WE WILL LINK TO YOUR SITE WITH A SHORT SUMMARY.

 

 


 

 

THIS SITE CONTAINS MANY EXAMPLES OF W D COUNCIL'S UNREASONABLE BEHAVIOUR - With thanks to Action Groups across the country for the supply of real case history and supporting documents.  *THAT THE PUBLIC MAY KNOW*

   

Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AX T: 01323 443322
Pine Grove, Crowborough, East Sussex, TN6 1DH T: 01892 653311

 

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