T W I S S E L L S  M I L L  A P P E A L



Find your way through this real life drama using our MORAL COMPASS to help steer you through the facts of this true story.








THE APPEAL SITE - The is how Twissells Mill appears from the air. As you can see from this screenshot, the wooden cabin is accessed via a stabilized dirt track from Nettlesworth Lane. Although a planning consent was obtained to reconstruct the Old Mill, there has been no move in that direction since February 2006; some 17 years ago at time of writing.





In this true story, based on real events, the "Colonial Bulldog," was engaged by Charles Warren of Old Heathfield, Nettlesworth Lane, TN21 9AP, in the matter of an appeal against an Enforcement Notice issued by the Wealden District Council (WDC) on 20th May 2005. The appeal was allowed by virtue of a Decision Letter dated 28th February 2006.


Our old friend, Ian Kay (assistant district planning officer), was involved, he of the Bushywood Animal Sanctuary demolition, deviously advising the Area Plans South (APS) planning committee, that a mobile home needed to have wheels to be considered mobile. Ian Kay was also a witness on oath in the case of Stream Farm, Horam, where it is alleged the planning inspectorate had suggested that his evidence was far from satisfactory, and he should be replaced. Why then, Mr Kay was still working for WDC at the time of the Bushywood appeal, or Mr Warren's appeal, remains a mystery. Other than corruption being endemic in councils. Wealden is just one of thousands of fiefdoms, where power corrupts. 


Mr Warren had been advised, not once, but twice that he should fight the, or any appeal, based on being allowed a temporary house, all the while he was working on the restoration of the Old Mill that burned down in the 1930s. Victor strongly disagreed, saying an appeal should be fought on the basis of the timber cabin being a mobile home. Where Mr Warren was insistent on following the advice of his barristers, Victor had little choice but to decline to act for Mr Warren. Where he believed his legal advice was flawed, as such the appeal could not succeed.


Charles Warren's local member was councillor Jan Dunk. Victor had been recommended to Mr Warren by councillor Brian West, presumably also by Ms Dunk, both members of APS.


Prior to this appeal, Mr Warren had been granted permission to build a farmhouse at Firlands Farm. He had confronted Ian Kay over the matter of pheasants, that probably set Ian Kay against the applicant, in any future planning applications. Where it may have appeared to Mr Kay, that Mr Warren was bouncing from one development to another, in the process taking advantage of loopholes in the law and so flaunting planning rules.







Sisu is set in 1944, towards the end of the second world war. It opens with a granite-faced miner striking gold in the middle of nowhere. But setting off on horseback heading to the city, satchel full of gold, he meets a convoy of Nazis rolling out of Finland. You might think there’s zero mileage left in the movies for psychopathic Nazis, but Helander finds a newish and sort-of-interesting angle here with his portrayal of Germans at the fag end of the conflict: war-addled and woozy, dressed in torn uniform with dead eyes and grimy faces. The game is up, and they are nihilistic.



The grizzled human rights activist, Victor von Woolf, fights on, despite incredible odds, in similar manner to Aatami Korpi, in SISU





That may or may not have been the case. Regardless, Victor took on the case, where Ian Kay and Wealden's chief enforcement officer at that time, David Phillips, were on some kind of a crusade against caravans and mobile homes. Mr Warren had agreed to follow the guidance and recommendations of the Colonial Bulldog, to secure his services.


Unfortunately, the occupier of the appeal building, had constructed the unit incorrectly, to be able to benefit from permitted development rights. The council had removed the appellant's right to build a temporary house, under the terms of a 106 agreement. Thus. could not argue that at any appeal. It being doomed to fail.


That being the case, his advice from one barrister, confirmed by a second independent legal opinion, was to fight to retain a house, on a temporary basis. In other words seeking a change of condition, that would be hard to justify. Given that no reconstruction work had taken place on the demolished mill.


Victor took a different view. Unlike most legal brains, he was a practical builder, engineer, and problem solver. He argued that it was perfectly lawful to make adjustments to the timber cabin, to comply with the Caravans Act.


"What are we going to do about this one Ian?"


"It's that fucker from Firlands Farm, thinks he can do what he wants, because of his father's standing. We lost last time. He charmed the pants off the Members. Got his permission David. Despite Vic doing his best to hamstring him."






Ian Kay and his co-conspirators remains at large. He has not yet been prosecuted for abusing his position of trust at this council, or for conspiring to cause loss, by virtue of his/their malicious campaigns, that cumulatively constitute malfeasance in public office. They are of course, serial offenders, their remunerations in connection with such actions constituting proceeds of crime.





On reflection, and having won the Bushywood appeal, a high profile case that received much media attention, Victor is of the view, that wining the Twissells Mill appeal, made Wealden District Council even more determined to get him. Any which way, as usual, not caring if it was legal or not. Considering this is a local authority in the UK, and comparing their willingness to cross over just about any moral boundary, does that make Adolf Hitler and his protégé  Vladimir Putin appear more reasonable. Should a so-called democracy not be whiter than white, if to be leading by example?


This case was hot on the heels of the 2005 County Court Consent Order, where Wealden had agreed to correct the planning history relating to the Old Pump House. They would be looking for ways of squirming out of that Agreement. And, stopping the Colonial Bulldog from taking on any more planning cases. Since, it must have seemed to them that he was virtually unstoppable. Victor having realised that Wealdens' planning department was corrupt to the core, their Achilles Heel. He knew of the propensity of their officers to lie to committees, in pursuit of their agenda to control who was granted what in their geographical region. All based on favours for mates, rather than on sound legal principles. All he needed to do was get their officers on the stand, under oath.




This is just one (proposed) episode in a series based on factual, real life stories for television dramatizations. All based on documented case histories. The truth is stranger than fiction.


Please note that dialogue is fictional, fly on the wall style interpretation of imagined discourse, in a busy planning office, where some long term employees may become virtual dictators, given that they have protection from the law, as part of policing, that is used to covering up inconvenient crime. To make it appear to the public that all is well.






THE BULLDOG - Human Rights activists come in all shapes and sizes. The Bulldog began to turn the tables on corrupt planning officials, as he took them on and won appeals for those unable to afford expensive lawyers. Actions speak louder than words. The Colonial became a high profile advocate. The Advocate became a target that must be suffocated, no matter how. The stakes were high.












Please use our MORAL COMPASS to navigate this story, or revisit our LANDING PAGE 



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