‘We don’t know the future’ - owners of Fenland poultry business speak of their eviction despair
- Credit: Archant
The owner of a Fenland family poultry business has spoken of his despair of having to “evict” his son and two grandchildren after being refused permission to retain their mobile caravan homes on site.
Steve Wigginton and his family live in three static caravans on the nine acres small holding in New Drove, Wisbech St Mary.
But Fenland Council - supported by a recommendation for refusal by the parish council - wants them off.
It means that within six months, Steve's eldest son Lewis and his partner and two toddlers will have to leave the site.
A new application has been submitted to keep one caravan - but it means eviction notices will still have to be served on the other two.
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"When we first came here we thought we were doing the best for the family but now we just don't know the future," Steve said.
"It will mean my son and his family will have to go to the council office to be rehomed.
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"It's like walking on glass."
Through their agents Brown & Co, Steve and his wife Tina - who run S & T Poultry - explained the diversity of their business and why the caravans are needed.
But council planners, whilst agreeing there is a need for a 24 hours presence, believes there is "no justification" for three residential units. As such it contravenes planning policy.
The council refused the retrospective planning application and although they say flood risk fears are not "insurmountable" as matters stand it forms part of the reasons for turning them down.
However, Steve says that the first he heard of the planning decision was in the Wisbech Standard.
He continued "I was shocked, I was just couldn't believe it.
"The council say that it is due to sustainability of the business; but as a farmer you are not on a set salary and sometimes only the profits and losses are shown.
"They don't know the background."
A typical day for the family is being up at 6am to feed their livestock then load the deliveries and drive across the UK.
They also donate surplus vegetables to the local community.