The Old Steam House, Lime Park, Herstmonceux BN27 1RF

Tel: 07905 147709   Email: nelson @ solarnavigator.org.uk


ATT: C. Lant, V. Scarpa, G. Johnson & Mr Bradshaw   

Wealden District Council

Vicarage Road                                                                     FAX REF: 01323 443333


East Sussex  BN27 2AX                                                                 27 August 2003


Dear Sirs


Your Refs. (1) DWHP1543  (2) DW/C/00/034/WRB


We write with reference to our yesterday’s letter and the visit to Hammer Lane Farm this morning between 10:05 and 10:45am by Marina Briginshaw, David Whibley and Geoff Johnson.  We also note your dog handler was lying in wait and that this lady attended complaint by Mrs Sefton concerning dogs in Hailsham recently.


As you know very well, Mr Kruschandl is a duly authorised officer of our company.  The visit by your officers was video recorded.  It appears from the evidence obtained as a result of the site visit, that your officers intended to trap our Mrs Sefton, but that when requested for information confirming their authorisation and the evidence on which that authorisation may have been based, your officers refused to make such information available as required by the T&CP and Human Rights Acts.


Additionally, your Mr Johnson was questioned as to the similar circumstances of this matter with that of certain Gypsy permissions granted by your council and Mrs Anne Harris.  Mr Johnson recalled advising the DCS committee that to continue enforcement against Mrs Harris would constitute discrimination.  Mr Johnson claimed he was waiting for advice, which claim we find absurd.  However, regardless of any denials by your officers, the actions of your council in the treatment of other members of the public generate estoppel against anything other than consistent treatment for ourselves or consequent claim of discrimination.


We advised Mr Johnson that he was an officer of the Court and bound to bring such information to the attention of the Committee authorising any enforcement action.  It is our belief that Mr Johnson, together with others has withheld or otherwise caused this information to be suppressed, to allow a malicious prosecution or simple obstruction to proceed in inconsistency.  The aim being to placate well placed neighbours to the disadvantage of our business.  Accordingly, this matter will be reported to the Police for investigation of the perceived obstruction, malice and waste of the ratepayers purse.  Should your officers attend the site again with criminal intent, we may detain them for interview by the appropriate authorities.


We would also ask for an explanation as to why your council are content to see the several buildings without a reasonable or beneficial use.  Clearly, the agricultural enterprise, while generating a functional need, is not sufficient in itself to use all the buildings on site.  We have written for advice as to diversification and met a blank wall.  Whereas, other farms freely receive help and advice and more importantly permissions for alternative uses by way of diversification.


It is a fact that your development officer(s) has/ve been blatantly unhelpful and obstructive in other cases where your enforcement department has been involved.  No doubt the legal and enforcement dirty tricks brigade giving the nod to all departments to close ranks to apply pressure to their target. Be advised such tactics are not only immoral but also illegal under the Harassment Act and in particular the willingness of David Phillips to share privileged information with informants is contrary to the officers code of conduct and council rules – about which we understand Mr Phillips and Mr Scarpa have been warned by the Members.


That the above matters have been reported to your Chief Executive and Monitoring Officers appears to have attracted not even the courtesy of reply.  Could we ask these officers to now investigate the lawfulness of continued enforcement, where clearly such action is bound to generate further injustice and on this we look forward to hearing from you.


Be assured, if your council is now prepared to be reasonable, we are willing to put the past behind us to work together to achieve a sensible use for this site.  To begin a new era of co-operation might we suggest the first step is to recognise the rights you have accorded other persons should now be extended to persons using this site.  Might we also have confirmation that you recognise the Health and Safety Regulations as applies to employees and self employed persons alike.


We look forward to receiving your comments and the replies to our correspondence as previously requested, please, within the next 8 working days.


Yours faithfully                                                                                                C.C.  WDC Members

                                                                                                                                 Sussex Police




Hammer Farm Produce Ltd



If any officer maligns, misrepresents facts or fails to properly advise Committee Members concerning planning applications or enforcement issue, the member of the public concerned might consider taking action against the slander.  Wealden in common with most other council's now record Committee meetings.  These recordings are publicly funded, hence public property.  Why not ask your council to provide you with a copy of their recording, if you believe any officer may have acted unlawfully.

If any officer of the Council has information concerning this case, we will be pleased to receive it in confidence.