ENFORCEMENT officers have action against a Hampshire landowner who was breaching planning laws by keeping caravans and waste on a site.

In a joint exercise between the South Downs National Park Authority and Winchester City Council, two residential caravans that were unlawfully sited on the field in Soberton were removed, along with scrap vehicles, gas bottles and rubble.

The plot, off Long Road, contained one static and one touring caravan, contrary to the land’s lawful planning use for agricultural purposes. Fencing had also been illegally erected.

It comes after an enforcement notice was served in November last year by the South Downs National Park Authority, but the landowner failed to comply.

Tim Slaney, director of planning, said: “Direct action is rarely used and is often a last resort. The decision was however reached having exhausted all other options.

“The division of the land means that, if action is not taken on this particular set of events, it is possible that further unauthorised harmful development will occur. This would undermine the first purpose of the National Park to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area, and frustrate local communities and others who abide by the planning system that we all benefit from long-term.”

Strategic director at Winchester City Council, Richard Botham said: “Winchester City Council and South Downs National Park Authority have worked together on this case and we are pleased that this joint operation has been successful. Where necessary the City Council will act robustly to ensure that planning policies are upheld.”