Boss ordered to build road 15 years ago battles to clear name
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A gardening equipment boss ordered to build a road more than a decade ago has insisted the access to his businesses has become lawful "through the passage of time".
William Randell, owner of RFH Norfolk, has run Randells Garden Equipment Store from its site on the junction of Mill Road and Norwich Road in Horstead since 2005.
In 2006 Broadland District Council granted permission for the businessman to extend his base for a showroom for the sale and repair of garden and leisure equipment.
As part of the permission the council insisted Mr Randell provided a new road on to Mill Road and closed one of the current access roads.
But Mr Randell has now applied for a certificate of lawfulness because the breaches "took place more than ten years ago and have become lawful through the passage of time", according to his planning statement.
He said: "Putting in an access to Mill Road has a cost to it. It isn't going to be nice to my neighbours who live right opposite.
"The council said providing there were no accidents from people accessing my site on the junctions they didn't have a problem with it.
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"They cut me some slack as far as putting in an entrance to Mill Road."
The business sits next to a florist, a deli and butchers, a used car business and garage in units leased by Mr Randell.
All customers use the two entrances off Norwich Road.
He added that he wanted to be clear with what he could do with the site for the sake of the other leaseholders and there had been no accidents near the business complex.
Ian Auld, who runs Farm to Fork to Fish, next to Randells said: "Our customers and staff don't have any problems with the access."
But Fran Whymark, county councillor for Horstead, said: "If there were planning conditions in the first place enforcement should have followed."
A spokesman for Broadland District Council said: "Anyone can apply to obtain a decision on whether an existing use or development is lawful for planning purposes or not. If the local planning authority is satisfied that the appropriate legal tests have been met, it will grant a lawful development certificate.
"If refused, the applicant has a right of appeal."