A COUPLE who run a smallholding in Highampton have appeared at court accused of breaking planning laws by allowing a man to live in a caravan on their land.

David Lines and Carolyn McAllister, both aged 49,  are alleged to have failed to comply with an enforcement notice to stop using a caravan for residential use.

The prosecution is brought by Torridge District Council who allege that the couple broke the law by not complying with an enforcement order which came into effect on January 18, 2017. Neither Lines or McAllister were represented in the case at Exeter Crown Court and Judge David Evans adjourned the case for two weeks to enable them to see a solicitor and take legal advice.

The couple say they have taken all reasonable steps to comply but are unable to do so until the housing department offer alternative accommodation to the occupier of the caravan. McAllister told the judge the planning decision is still being appealed.

The couple run Hazelnut Farm at Highampton, which is a sustainable smallholding where they raise animals and farm in traditional ways, including making hay by hand.

They raise sheep, goats, pigs and poultry, including rare breeds, and have an ecological philosophy by which they try and use as few resources as possible and in which they live ‘off grid’.