Man in bungalow row with Vernon Kay wins a victory in High Court

Timber tycoon who branded Vernon Kay a ‘northern nimby’ in row over £80,000 wooden bungalow wins latest round of High Court planning battle

  • Vernon Kay, 49, has been fighting against the bungalow near his Bucks home

A timber tycoon who branded Vernon Kay a ‘northern nimby’ after the TV star’s fight to make him demolish his £80,000 wooden bungalow has won a victory in his High Court bid to stop it being torn down.

Ian Caldwell went to London’s High Court after Buckinghamshire Council ordered him to knock down the two-bed wooden cabin he built 300 yards from the presenter’s £1.2million home.

Mr Caldwell, who runs a nearby timber business, commissioned the cabin in Beaconsfield, 10 years ago and it currently houses his site manager and his family.

But the development sparked the wrath of neighbours including Vernon Kay, 49, and Tess Daly, 54, who live just 300 yards away in their six-bed home.

After a short hearing yesterday, Mr Justice Lane ruled Mr Caldwell’s case against demolishing the bungalow is ‘properly arguable’, giving him the green light for a full High Court appeal.

Ian Caldwell (pictured outside High Court) was granted a full High Court appeal after an enforcement notice from Buckinghamshire Council ordered him to knock a wooden cabin he built 300 yards from Vernon Kay’s home

Tess Daly, 54, and Vernon Kay, 49, have been complaining for years that the dwelling was built without planning permission at the end of their exclusive road for the family of the owner of a nearby timber yard. It is 1,000 feet down the road from Vernon’s home 

Buckinghamshire council previously slapped the bungalow’s owners with an eviction notice so that the building can be knocked down

Mr Kay, former T4 and Family Fortunes presenter and current BBC Radio 2 host, previously urged council planners to condemn the cabin, claiming it should not have been permitted in a secluded rural area. 

READ MORE: Vernon Kay WINS battle to demolish ‘illegal’ £80,000 bungalow built near £1.2million Buckinghamshire mansion he shares with Tess Daly as council serves family with eviction notice

Those opposing Mr Caldwell’s bungalow complained that it was erected without planning permission and is situated in the heart of the Green Belt.

In February, a government planning inspector backed Buckinghamshire Council’s decision to issue an enforcement notice directing Mr Caldwell to ‘demolish or dismantle the building occupied as a dwelling house’.

But he and his company, Timberstore Ltd, are now attacking that decision through appeal in the High Court, arguing that his development was protected by the ‘four-year rule,’ which tolerates planning breaches where they’ve gone unprosecuted for that length of time.

Outside court, Mr Caldwell revealed he has already splashed out around £100,000 in costs fighting for the right to keep his £80,000 bungalow.

If the court case ultimately goes against him, the 62-year-old will have to level the cabin and the family occupying it will be uprooted.

Mr Caldwell said he’d taken great pains to ensure the cabin, which has been a home since 2014, looked pleasing and fitted in with the locality.

‘The site is immaculate,’ he said. ‘It’s got a lawn neatly laid out and there’s a family-of-four living there.’

Following of Vernon’s objections, several posters appeared branding him a ‘Northern NIMBY’ – a term for people who object to developments near where they live

The  couple and their two daughters live in the six-bedroom house in Buckinghamshire

Mr Caldwell is also challenging a refusal to grant his bungalow a retrospective ‘certificate of lawful development’ and it was this issue which triggered Vernon Kay’s complaints to the council three years ago.

READ MORE: ‘No pressure Vernon… everybody is listening to Ken!’ Some fans say they are switching over to Ken Bruce on Greatest Hits Radio as Vernon Kay hosts his first Radio 2 show

In documents lodged with the council, the TV star wrote: ‘The erection of this single storey dwelling has been contested by the residents since it was first built several years ago.

‘The development is also on the Green Belt and should not be permitted. It is in the best interest of the council to use this application to now pursue the complaints further from the residents.

‘We understand this is a retrospective planning application but, since the council were not able to pursue the complaints from the residents four years ago, this application should be refused.’

Other neighbours also pitched in against the offending structure, with one resident dubbing the development ‘an unnecessary intrusion into the local countryside’.

Mr Kay is not involved in the High Court case.

In past years, posters have gone up in the lane near the bungalow showing a cartoon-like image of Bolton-born Mr Kay over the strap line ‘Northern Nimby’. 

TV stars Vernon Kay and wife Tess Daly previously won a battle over an ‘illegally’ built bungalow on the same road as their six-bedroom Buckinghamshire mansion

The couple paid more than £1.5million for their property and applied for permission to demolish it in favour of a more efficient home, but objections from neighbours forced them to scrap the plans 

And asked about his celebrity neighbour couple outside court, Mr Caldwell explained: ‘I call them northern nimbies’.

Mr Kay and Ms Daly themselves ended up on the sharp end of neighbours’ complaints back in 2018 when they floated plans to demolish a brick house near their current home and construct a new four-storey dream mansion.

But the pair, whose current home boasts a swimming pool, gym and two Shetland ponies, shelved their plans after local residents complained about the property’s proposed basement eating into the chalk hillside and the build’s impact on local badgers.

Mr Caldwell’s appeal will be heard by a High Court judge at a later date.

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