Devastation for Norfolk couple as council sends in team to demolish dream home

The demolition team moved in at 9am.
The demolition team moved in at 9am. Photo: ITV News Anglia

Just before 9 o'clock this morning, the demolition team arrived. Without warning.

By the time friends came, Pat Wenn was in pieces.

Her life in boxes.

Pat Wenn was left devastated.
Pat Wenn was left devastated. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Pat and her partner Rodney were told in February that their home in Walsoken near Wisbech would have to go - because it broke the terms of their planning permission.

But after nine years of fighting - they hadn't given up yet.

The demolition team arrived without warning.
The demolition team arrived without warning. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"I was woken up this morning with all this lot in my drive (demolition team), no notice or nothing.

We never even thought about it because we were going in for an appeal."

– Rodney Wilson, Homeowner

The couple had been granted permission for a static caravan on the site.

But according to the council its size, and additions like the conservatory effectively made it a house.

It was 19 inches too wide.

The council said they had been left with "no alternative".
The council said they had been left with "no alternative". Credit: ITV News Anglia

None of the council staff on site were authorised to speak to us today.

Instead the press office issued a statement.

"It is important that people have confidence in the planning system and that it is applied fairly and consistently to all groups in society.

"We always work hard to find a solution to planning breaches….But in this instance we have been left with no alternative."

– King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council

But a councillor from neighbouring Cambridgeshire said he thought common sense should come first.

Cllr Paul Clapp says he would have handled things differently.
Cllr Paul Clapp says he would have handled things differently. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Cllr Paul Clapp said that it was an "obscene amount of money" and that the council now have a duty to house the couple.

"You can't put it into words. They are just destroying your life for the sake of a brownie point really."

– Pat Wenn

The council has arranged hotel accommodation for tonight. After that, the couple say they don't know where they'll go.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Malcolm Robertson

Read more: Dream home 19 inches too wide