A dispute over a static caravan that has dragged on for around a quarter of a century has led to a court showdown. The dispute, between businessman Raymond Hollocks and the Broads Authority (BA), concerns the development of three sites on the Norfolk Broads.
Mr Hollocks owns three sites on Norfolk Broads and is in a protracted legal fight with authority over each site.
Believing there is a “personal vendetta” against him, he claims that the authority is holding back his plans to build businesses on the Broads.
A civil case, due to be heard in August, will see Hollocks face charges of failing to comply with a compliance notice to remove the static caravans from the Broads.
Hollocks said the authority had tried to take him away from the boat trade and penalized him for his renovations.
In a statement, he said: “It is heartbreaking what BA has done to our rivers. It used to be a thriving place around here. By taking the boat trade away from me, they are now trying to penalize me for renovating the place to focus on lodging and fishing to boost trade.”
However, the Broads Authority said any “personal vendetta” against Hollocks was false.
A spokesman for the authority said: “The same breach of planning regulations has been committed by the owner at three locations now and the Authority has no choice but to take enforcement action against someone who flouts planning regulations so consistently. “.
In a statement, a BA spokesperson said: “Through our websites, social media and Broadcaster magazine, the Broads Authority provides comprehensive visitor information on the best places to visit in the unique and beautiful rivers of the South.
“We have also produced Broadcaster guides and animated safety videos on how to cross Breydon Water safely.
“There is also our friendly and helpful team at Great Yarmouth Yacht Station who advise yachtsmen on the best sailing times.
“In particular, the laid-back Southern Rivers is a mecca for paddlers, with fantastic yards where you can rent canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, and plenty of great pubs, restaurants and cafes to recharge your batteries.”
The court battle marks the latest chapter in a long dispute that began in 1997, eight years after the authority was established.
That year Hollocks bought his first business, Beauchamp Arms, on the banks of the Yare River. He bought two other sites, the Berney Arms, downriver from the Beauchamp Arms and the Loddon Marina on the River Chet.
The dispute escalated when the authority said it was unhappy with the siding he was using and disapproved of the bright blue paint he used on his bar. There were objections to the lighting on the half mile track to the pub from the main road and curb.
A recurring source of dispute has been the use of static caravans at all three sites. In April, the authority issued a notice of enforcement to remove two static caravans and a wooden building at the Berney Arms. Another order for two caravans was placed in Loddon.
On Beauchamp Arms, Mr Hollocks said: “We don’t get the trade in this section, because BA’s focus is mainly on Oulton and the northern section.
“Beauchamp is special in so many ways, it has incredible energy and is in a wonderfully beautiful setting, I am very welcoming and I would love for people to come here and sit back and relax. I have the best intentions for this place and it’s devastating that BA won’t help us run it.”