PETER MOULDER'S  23 year fight for justice against Dover District Council who 

unlawfully demolished his home.  


This is a factual account of my ongoing dispute with Dover District Council. It started in 1984 when I bought my bungalow and it still continues today, almost a quarter of a century later. 

I purchased my home in the normal way, employing the services of a local estate agent and a solicitor who carried out all the usual searches and enquiries.

The manner in which DDC operates its planning decision-making should be of concern to everyone because what should be a democratic process is failing because the paid staff dictate. Committee Members are not questioning the edited planning reports of Council officers, but are merely rubber-stamping their recommendations, thus leaving the process open to abuse. Since 1984 successive Committees have made perverse decisions about my case, without being in possession of all the facts. Decisions have been made based on false and misleading information presented by the planning department, leading to serial acts of maladministration. 

The arrogance and indifference shown by committee members during this time is inexcusable. Over the years I have written to all members of successive Planning Committees, yet not one Councillor has ever had the courtesy to reply. The Council has disregarded every attempt by me to resolve this dispute by negotiation, preferring to waste huge amounts of taxpayer’s money in pursuit of their vendetta against me. The Council’s Chief Executive, Nadeem Aziz, who seems to have no concept of natural justice, refuses to meet me and ignores correspondence, while at the same time, incorrect and misleading statements are released to the press. 

Hopefully my website will enlighten people as to the unsavoury tactics used by district council officials.  It appears that council corruption may be widespread in this country and consequently the number of websites exposing maladministration and injustice is increasing. 

Deception can occur at committee level when an applicant applies for planning permission or when the council pursues wrongful enforcement action against a lawful development. However, most corruption begins at officer level and, worryingly, this law breaking is protected in England as there is no statutory requirement for the Police to take action and therefore officers of the council are immune from prosecution.

Before any planning application reaches committee level, it is first dealt with by the planning department and it is here that the planning officer can begin his or her vendetta against the applicant by carefully perverting the application and manipulating evidence. This has undoubtedly occurred in my case. 

Consequently, having experienced a serious injustice from Dover District Council I am developing this website to tell my side of the story. Further on I explain about the complaint I made against the Council, which led to their own senior Professional Standards Investigator finding them guilty of  maladministration with injustice on a number of counts. 

I had considered approaching the Local Government Ombudsman but statistics show that  98.4% of complainants find it a complete waste of time because of pro-council bias. Two websites dedicated to exposing Local Government maladministration can be found at the foot of this page.  The whole scenario reeks of a cover up.




I planned to start a new life with my wife and two children when in 1984 we purchased a property called ‘The Bungalow’ in Warren Lane, Nr Lydden, Dover. The timber-framed bungalow, which had two bedrooms, lounge, kitchen and bathroom was an existing dwelling in lawful residential use. It had been neglected for some years and was in need of some TLC so upon moving in on the 15th June I began renovating it and making cosmetic changes. The existing timber frame was retained and repaired, the walls re-clad, new windows fitted and it was re-roofed. No extensions were added thus the size of the original footprint remained the same.  


Within a few weeks of purchasing the bungalow Dover District Council falsely stated that I had 'erected a new dwelling' and ordered me to demolish it.  An enforcement notice was wrongfully issued and we lived under the threat of demolition for five years, until 1989 when the Council came along one morning with a mechanical digger and smashed my bungalow to pieces. Following this the Council had the audacity to state that they were not obliged to provide accommodation for us because we had 'made ourselves homeless'. This was pre Human Rights days of course.


The council served the wrong notice because the breach they allege I committed did not occur. The Town & Country Planning Act states that an enforcement notice shall specify that steps be taken to restore the land to its condition before the breach took place. In other words, put the bungalow back to as it was before I carried out the cosmetic changes.  

The unlawful demolition of my bungalow took place because the planning department presented inaccurate and misleading advice to the Planning Committee including the claim that the residential use had been abandoned. In  R. v Canterbury City Council ex parte Springimage JPL 1993 it was Held that a decision is void if it is based on information put before a committee that is not correct or is incomplete.

The original decision to demolish my home was wrong and therefore it follows that every action taken against me by the council must be wrong. A public authority owes as great, if not a greater obligation, to comply with the law as any individual and I have sufficient evidence to show the Council acted unlawfully not only in demolishing my home in the first instance but also in all acts of enforcement action that have followed. There is case law to support this assertion, as does the Town & Country Planning Act, which is very clear and precise on this matter.


Every person is entitled to procedural fairness, but that will always depend on the integrity of the authority responsible for such procedures. 


Lord Justice Muskill, Greater London Council (1985) identified four ways in which a decision might be procedurally improper, namely:


1.    Unfair behaviour towards persons affected by the decision.

2.    Failure to follow a procedure laid down by legislation.

3.    Failure properly to marshall the evidence on which the decision should be based. 

For example, 

      taking into account an immaterial factor or failing to take into account a material 

factor or failing to 

        take reasonable steps to obtain the relevant information.

4.    Failure to approach the decision in the right spirit, for example, where the decision 

maker is 

      actuated by bias or where he is content to let the decision be made by chance. 


There is clear evidence that Dover Council have deprived me of my right to procedural fairness throughout the duration of this dispute but particularly so when they took the decision to demolish my home.


I did not establish a home without planning permission because that already lawfully existed and had done so  for 56 years. Prior to the demolition I placed a mobile home adjacent to the bungalow so continuing, uninterrupted, the lawful residential use of the land. 


After the demolition the Council then erroneously served an enforcement notice ordering the removal of my mobile home.  

Due to the years of stress and extreme disruption to my family’s life leading up to the demolition of our home and the ongoing harassment and threat of litigation from the Council after the demolition, my family broke up. After my wife left I gave up the fight and moved away from the site in October 1992. Up until that time I had neither the knowledge nor financial ability to fight the unlawful action that had been taken against me and it is apparent the Council played on that fact.  

In my absence the site of my former home became a local rubbish tip and scrap vehicles accumulated on the land. It became an eyesore, an annoyance to local residents and the subject of further enforcement action, which required me as owner of the site to clear it even though this situation was a direct result of the council demolishing my home.  


My property had been in continuous residential use for over 60 years when the Council demolished it and reduced my land to a rubbish tip. Tim Flisher from the Council's planning department has since confirmed that residential use is the only lawful use ever ascribed to my property.

On 15th July 2002 I moved back to the site and began clearing all the scrap vehicles and the tons of rubbish that had accumulated, before restoring it to an attractive garden once more. I have continued to live there in a mobile home ever since with the full support of my neighbours but not the Council who are again dubiously taking enforcement action against me.  


On 28 February 2005 I submitted a planning application following advice from Tim Flisher the Council's Development Control Manager but the dirty tricks..........more


I became highly suspicious about the way in which the Council were dealing with my planning application so withdrew it on the 22 July 2005 before it was determined.  

Soon after this I obtained a copy of the report that the case officer, Nikki Coles, had prepared for the Planning Committee. I was astounded when I read it as the officer’s report contained incorrect statements, misleading information and was written in a biased way designed to ensure a refusal. At this point I decided to submit a complaint to the Professional.......more


In 2006 I wrote to Gwyn Prosser, New Labour MP for Dover, asking for his support but soon discovered that...........more






18 April 2007    Day of the hearing. Judge Parnell asked Lee May the Council solicitor why, when an independent Investigator had found maladministration with the way my application was processed the Council would not refund my planning fee. He was told that there is nothing in the legislation that provides for a refund. In other words, the Council can process a planning application as abysmally and corruptly as they like and even though found guilty of maladministration by their own investigation they are not required to refund the planning fee. Judge Parnell said that even though he accepted my claim was valid and he sympathised with my situation he was not able to order the Council to repay my wasted planning fee. It's a joke. 





20 March 2007    The Court inform me that the hearing for my claim to be struck out will be held at Dover Magistrates Court County Court on the 18 April. I fear some 'funny handshakes' may be involved.





16 March 2007    The Council submit an application to the Court for my claim to be struck out.





8 March 2007       The Court sent me a 'Request for Judgement' form because the council had not replied to my claim by the deadline of 5 March.  As advised by the Court I submitted the form requesting that the Court order the council to pay.  The Court wrote back to me saying the council had now filed an 'Acknowledgement of Service' on 8 March. I would question why the Court gives a deadline by when the Defendant must respond and then allow them to be 3 days late. I'm not sure the private individual would be extended the same privilege and the Council have no excuse for being late considering they have their own in-house solicitors. The Court has now given the Council until the 17 March to file their defence.





5 March 2007       Deadline by when DDC must dispute my claim.





Friday 2 March 2007       I was invited to take part in the Jeremy Vine Programme on Radio 2 today which was about contentious planning issues. I only had about three minutes but had the opportunity to convey some relevant aspects of my case and the feedback has been favourable.





17 February 2007       Summons served on Dover District Council.





15 February 2007       Lodged my claim against the Council at Canterbury County Court.





6 December 2006       My second letter to Nadeem Aziz the Council's Chief Executive. Once more I requested a refund of my planning fee and informed him that if I did not receive a refund I would seek a judgement in the County Court. Once again Mr Aziz ignored my letter. 





19 November 2006       I wrote to Nadeem Aziz the Council's Chief Executive politely requesting a refund of my planning application fee. Previously, I had withdrawn my planning application before it was determined because the Council had tampered with it. Subsequently the Council's Professional Standards Investigator found them guilty of maladministration in the way in which my application had been dealt with. I  was therefore fully justified in receiving a refund. As usual, Mr Aziz ignored my letter.







A website set up with the express purpose of tackling corruption and dishonesty is


'Lilian', a resident of the London Borough of Camden has set up a news site to highlight her experiences of injustice and corruption by some Camden Council employees.


If you are considering an appeal to the Local Government Ombudsman then first take a look at the following sites:


Public Service Ombudsman Watchers  


Trevor  Nunn’s   



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With thanks to Action Groups around the world for the supply of real case history and supporting documents.