Plans have been submitted to regularise storage of caravans on land connected with Tinkers Park, Hadlow Down, where steam engine rallies are held each year.
The Claude Jessett Trust has applied for permission to use land at Bracherlands, Main Road, Hadlow Down, for storage and occasional occupation of 12 modern touring caravans and 12 historic living vans.
The Trust has been told planning records do not currently confirm “lawfulness” of caravans at Tinkers Park and it has has been asked to prove that the use of the site for a fixed number of caravans has persisted on a consistent basis for an unbroken period of ten years leading to the date of the application.
A statement before Wealden District Council, which will decide the planning application, says the caravans are used by volunteers who donate their time to work on historic artefacts at Tinkers Park.
The Trust says this has been going on as long as there have been exhibitable items at Tinkers Park, which in the case of the traction engines could date back to wartime, when Claude Jessett bought his first engine, but certainly since the mid 1960s.
The have produced pictures showing the caravans, both modern and ‘living’ which have been towed behind traction engines since the time they were first build, before the turn of the last century in some cases.
The Trust say: “Some of these living vans were collected by Claude years ago, and have been used for many purposes other than for sleeping in.
“One has already been restored and is used for very occasional overnight accommodation by volunteers without caravans of their own on site.
“It is entirely possible that more of these vans may be restored in future years and used by volunteers to stay in as period exhibits, for example when taking a preserved steam roller to a show.”