9 Apr 2010

The Knott Revocations


Julie Knott tells her story -
of how she lost her husband to cancer,
and was forced to live unlawfully,
due to the revenge attack upon her husband
for trying to help reveal the truth
about Caradon's Chief Planning Officer.

She has paid a high price for truth.

When I am dead, who will clear her name? Zen


My name is Julie Knott,
and I am the widow of Caradon District Councillor Tony Knott.

In around 1991
when I ran a Pet Shop in Callington with my daughter,
a man called Tim Wilmot called in to make an appointment
to speak to my husband, Tony Knott.

Tim Wilmot was suffering at the hands
of Caradon District Council's Planning department.

Illegal and corrupt things had happened
to his planning application for an Organic Garden Centre.

My husband served on the Planning Committee,
and had voted to approve the application,
but internal manipulation of the planning process
had reversed by deceit the approval to refusal.

Tony was so incensed with the corruption within the Council
that he signed an Affadavit prepared by Tim Wilmot,
absolving him from any part of the corruption.

This was sworn on 30 JUN 93
by Vivian Carne, of R. Hancock & Son, of Callington,

In 1992, my children applied for,
and obtained planning permission
on our land adjoining Richmond Park, Calstock,
( a natural infill in an existing building line ).

Alan Hartridge, then Chief Planning Officer for the Council,
tried to hold a site meeting
right at the top of the field above the sites in question,
where the views were stunning.

After much persuasion by the children's planning agents
and my insistance to move down the hill,
the meeting did eventually take place on the right piece of land.

Jack Spiers, then of Kittows Estates Agents of Callington,
told us that his Protection Society,
had been asked by Mr Hartridge to write letters of objection
against my children's planning applications.

For four years, my late husband was too sick with cancer
to continue representing Calstock,
so Elizabeth Gardiner was elected.

She was heavily involved in two protection societies - namely,

She was a close friend of Alan Hartridge,
and between the three protection societies,
they wrote hundreds of letters
to The DOE in London, Bristol
to the Government Office for the South West,
the Prime Minister,
The Secretary for the State of the Environment (John Gummer),
Cutting Edge on Channel 4 tv, etc., etc.

These letters were written in their hundreds
to internally manipulate the planning process
so that three normal planning applications
suddenly became highly controversial.

In JAN 89, my husband and I obtained planning permission
for a dwelling at Richmond Park,
which my husband inended to build himself.

The Planning Department insisted
that the house be set deep into the hill,
requiring much expensive excavation,
and many courses of blockwork
just to get to ground floor level.

As early as 1992,
Hartridge applied to the DoE to get the permission revoked,
but was refused by Michael Howard.

By 1995, my husband realised that he was too sick
to finish his self-build house.

A close friend, Jack Martin, offered to finance the completion,
as we were considering selling,
and moving to a smaller, more managable property.

The planning permission had a Section 52 agreement attached.

This simply meant we had to sleep in the house for 1 night only
before we could sell it on the open market.

This condition prevented a speculator
selling the planning permission on for a quick profit,
without doing the construction.

However, if for any reason we failed to sleep in the house,
Jack Martin was afraid his money would be trapped,
and asked us to try to remove the condition.

Both ourselves, and Mr & Mrs Dallimore from Cox Park
put in a written appeal to the DOE in Bristol at the same time,
asking for the same condition to be removed.

Theirs was removed within five or six weeks,
but ours was still not determined after a year.

Whenever I rang up, I was told that it was due to 'complex issues'.

On 15 FEB 96, Tony and myself
received proposed Revocation Orders from the DOE,
and in the same envelope was the Refusal Notice for the Section 52.

Just as in Tim Wilmot's case,
the Chief Planning Officer had ambushed us
through internal manipulation of the planning process.

His tactics were identical.

On 15 FEB 96, my daughter and her husband
also received proposed Revocation Orders from the DOE.

On the same day, my two Sons
received proposed Revocation Orders from the DOE.

Our home whilst self-building was in an old static holiday caravan
designed for summer occupation, and unfit for winter conditions,
particularly for a man sick with cancer.

We lived there, except, when for a few months
our daughter lived in the caravan,
so that my husband could live in comfort in her home
during his six months of continuous chemotherapy.

As the wife of a District Councillor,
you can imagine that we were at our wit's end,
when we felt ourselves forced to take action
for the benefit of my husband's health,
knowing that it was unlawful.

In DEC 96, Tony and I, with the help of many friends
did a quick conversion job on the garage,
installing secondhand plumbing and a make shift kitchen,
curtains for internal walls,
and we moved in just in time for Christmas.

I informed the Council,
and within weeks, in JAN 97,
Caradon District Council issued an Enforcement Notice
requiring us to vacate the garage.

Our circumstances - surely exceptional -
meant we were not in a position to comply.

Later in 1997, we appealed the Enforcement,
and used a planning agent at a cost of £4,500.

We lost our Appeal because of a Policy H7
which the Inspector took into consideration.

Policy H7 had not even gone out to public consultation
and it took more than two years before it became law,
yet the Government Inspector saw fit
to refuse us permission to live in the Garage
using that proposed policy
as his only reason for Refusal.

My Agent wrote strong letters to the DOE
but it fell on deaf ears.

We applied for a Certificate of Lawfulness on the Garage,
but it was not possible to apply
when a building has an Enforcement Order still standing on it.

Caradon District Council would not remove the condition,
making my lawful right impossible to achieve.

We have paid Council Tax / the old Poll Tax
on Richmond Park since March 1989 ( Band A ),
and the ironic thing is that the bill comes addressed
to 'Dwelling at Richmond Park'.

This makes a total of 21 years.

There and many twists and turns in this case,
too many to record at one go,
but the worst
was when Caradon Council decided we had built
the now revoked house a few feet out of position.

Considering the site was part of a 2 acre field,
a pencil line on an Ordnance Survey map
could represent a width of ten feet.

And Caradon Planning Department's Building Inspectors
had approved the laying out.

Due to this, we were issued an Enforcement Notice
to remove the now ILLEGAL BUILDING at our expense,
return the site to a field again,
and pick up all the revocation costs.

We also lost our right to compensation for the revocation
( which was, of course, the purpose of this attack ).

My Solicitor told us this was the end of the line,
and we should now give up.

His name was Michael Horwood of Foot Anstey Sargent.

Previously my late husband and me
took part in a television programme
called On The Edge.

It was about 'NO Win No Fee',
and we had been singled out as the 'worst case'
that could not afford natural Justice.

At that time Sir Richard Scott (now Lord Scott)
was near the peak of the legal system as Vice Chancellor,
and he took part in the same programme.

I wrote to Lord Scott,
and told him that it was the end of the line for us,
and that we faced sure bankruptcy.

Through the Citizens Advice Bureau at the Royal Courts of Justice,
we were advised to apply for a Judicial Review,
and that we should be entitled to Legal Aid.

Tony contacted Michael Horwood of Foot Anstey Sargent
and raised the roof.

Michael Horwood stuttered a bit,
and was clearly embarrased about my contacting Lord Scott.

On 15 DEC 99, we were granted a Judicial Review
at The Royal Courts of Justice, on Estoppel,
and we won all 12 counts againsts us.

Justice Sullivan, in his summing up, said
that the actions of Caradon District Council were WHOLLY UNJUST
and our right to compensation was now reinstated.

These words I understand are the strongest rebuke possible.

Due to this case,
Knott Vs Caradon District Council is now Case Law,
and is used as a test case on a regular basis
on the point of Estoppel in the High Court.

On 17 DEC 99,
Tony and myself were summonsed to Bodmin Magistrates Court,
our crime being illegally living in a garage.

During this ordeal,
my husband broke down and sobbed like a baby.

The Court adjourned for 20 minutes while my husband composed himself.

In summing up,
the Magistrates gave us AN ABSOLUTE DISCHARGE.

We were so happy as we were advised
that our best result would be a Conditional Discharge.

I had previously served six and a half years
as a Special Constable in The Devon & Cornwall Police
and the prospects of a Criminal record was almost too much to bear!.

In JAN 02,
Tony and I had to accompany our solicitor, Michael Horwood,
to Caradon District Council to finalize our compensation claim.

The Planning Department employees of Caradon District Council
all seemed to know Michael Horwood.

My husband asked him how and why
was he so well known within the Planning Department,

He coloured up, and looked very embarrassed
but informed us
that he worked for Caradon on a temporary basis

I am sure that Michael Horwood
helped prepare the Revocation Orders for the Council,
and then fought against them for us.

I feel Michael Horwood should not have taken on our case,
as he should have declared an interest.

The Council removed our building works,
and reinstated the land in late JUL 02.

Tony returned from hospital
for the last time on 26 JUL 02,
and the digger that had just removed his beloved house
was still on site.

I begged the Council to grass over the scars,
because my husband was dying,
and they laughed at me once again -
they clearly did not believe me.

On 29 JUL 02, just three days later,
Tony DIED at Richmond Park,
in his unlawfully converted garage home.

My brother and I had completely transformed the garage
into a lovely 1 bedroom bungalow
and we were almost finished,
with the exception of fitting a new front door,
and window,
where an 'up-and-over' garage door still remained.

I was heartbroken
that my husband had to be carried out in a coffin
under a garage door,
and vowed that one day someone should pay for this GREAT INJUSTICE.

I have been branded as a nutter,
and we have been accused
of getting planning permission through the back door,
which is completely untrue,
as it was made very hard for us.

The finger still points to this day
when I visit local supermarkets or go shopping -
"Oh look! There is that woman who got illegal planning!" -
and it hurts!

In summary,
my family were singled out by Caradon District Council
( specifically by Alan Hartridge, Chief Planning Officer ),
because my late husband recognised and challenged their corruption
in the case of Tim Wilmot.

Neither Tim Wilmot or myself are INSANE -
we are just the victims of a GREAT INJUSTICE,
which the system prefers to ignore.

I am not comfortable
with Tim Wilmot being on another starvation protest,
but I fully understand that he, like me,
has lost everything
due to criminal offences at Caradon District Council
that authority simply covers up.

If Tim Wilmot feels that this is his only way
of obtaining the JUSTICE HE DESERVES,
then SO BE IT !

Julie Knott (Mrs)


Link - Support for the Knotts from a Calstock man - click "back" when done
Link - The Knotts make legal history - click "back" when done
Link - Return to Start Menu to Caradon attack Councillor Knott section
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