Skip to comments.Eco-warrior evicted from cave dwelling without fire exit
Posted on 06/18/2009 7:58:16 AM PDT by Daffynition
An eco-warrior has been evicted from the cave he lives in on his allotment patch in Brighton, East Sussex, because it doesn't have a fire exit.
Hilaire Purbrick, 45, has inhabited the seven-foot cave he dug on his plot and dined off the land for the past 16 years.
But after having the dwelling checked by the fire brigade, Brighton and Hove City Council decided it did not have enough exits and sought an injunction banning him from entering it.
Mr Purbrick ignored the order and continued to live in the cave, but was pulled back into court on Tuesday when a judge granted the council a possession order which will allow him to be formally evicted and banned indefinitely from the site.
Mr Purbrick now plans to take his fight to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming his right to a private life and freedom has been breached by the order.
"I am still living there and intend to continue to do so," he said. "I know lots of people in this town who live in houses with only one door with no fire exit."
The keen gardener has a history of overcoming legal challenges to his earthy home.
In 1999, town hall authorities threatened to remove him, claiming he was running an illegal vegetable shop.
But Mr Purbick won a reprieve after claiming his site "was hardly a Sainsbury's" and he only had one customer a pregnant woman who bought his sprouts.
The following year he successfully fought an eviction order after complaints he was keeping chickens and bees without permission.
Granting the possession order at Brighton County Court, Judge Jonathan Simpkiss said there were legitimate health and safety concerns that the cave could collapse.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
No fire exit...sheesh
flammable rocks I guess.
“An eco-warrior has been evicted from the cave he lives in on his allotment patch in Brighton, East Sussex, because it doesn’t have a fire exit.”
Surprised he wasn’t hailed as the “missing link” and paraded through the scientific journals...
“Mr Purbrick now plans to take his fight to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming his right to a private life and freedom has been breached by the order”
Yea, Let me know how that works out for yah.
I’ll see your sheesh & raise you one. He also ran an “illegal vegetable shop”
I haven’t been in many caves with fire exits either.
What...the fire brigade thinks the cave might catch on fire?
Oh, the inSANITY!!!!
Oh the irony...lol.
Here is a guy who wants the government to control the entire global environment(as if they could), living on a government alloted plot of ground and moaning about government meddling and probably using government funds to fight them in a government court....LOL!!
I'm waiting for a Home Inspector Closeau series to show up on the TeeVee (that would be the new code compliant teevee)where courageous inspectors battle substandard dwellings and their owners to ensure that the code is obeyed.
Big brother says you can’t even be a hermit these days.
Big brother says you can’t even be a hermit these days.
The creepiest phrase in this is “allotment patch”.
hoist with his own libtard
Once again proving that politics is all about POWER. Nothing else, just naked power.
Well, there goes my exit strategy. Seems like if his cave was a danger to him, why not let him be a ‘darwin award’ winner. A liberal is losing his liberty to nanny state he helps perpetuate: TOLDYOUSO, TOLDYOUSO.......
Does it have handicapped access? Are the terlets 1.6 gallons or less? This guy is a menace to society and should probably be imprisoned. In a cave.
Leave the hippy be.
Long British tradition..
THere may be more to the story
A parliamentary committee will investigate the plight of allotment gardeners this month as their plots are eaten up in the rush to build new housing. Enthusiasts hope MPs can persuade ministers to act but, writes Fran Abrams, there has been little sign that this will happen.
Almost 50 of England’s 7,800 allotment sites have been sold off to developers with ministers’ blessing since last May, it emerged last week. In some areas allotment holders are “digging in” to protect their land as the bulldozers prepare to move in.
Seems like this guy is ahead of the curve...
As a long-time allotment holder I can assure you there’s nothing creepy about allotments - a fine British tradition originally conceived to give working men trapped in high-density inner-city housing a piece of land to grow their own produce; and subsequently reaching its apotheosis in the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign of the Second World War. Indeed so well-tended are most allotments that creepy-crawlies threatening the vegetables don’t stand a chance.
Thank you both for that explanation. I guess I was forgetting just how limited real estate is in Britain due to its size.
It’s just my reaction to the concept that whatever government gives you, it can also take it away.
I’m not fan of eco-nazis, but I do think he should get a shovel and dig a back entrance.
And tell the fire brigands and the shitty council to go straight to Hell.
If they incarcerate him, can he sue because his prison cell has no fire exit?
Silly town fathers, going through all this legal trouble. Just get a couple of the local youts to fill in the entrance hole at night and Purbrick-head will get the hint that most wise animals have an escape hatch or two.
An eco-warrior will appear in court today fighting moves by the council to evict him from his allotment commune home.
Hilaire Purbrick, 45, has lived on the allotments in Whitehawk Hill, Brighton, for 16 years.
But now Brighton and Hove City Council wants Mr Purbrick and four others who live in the commune off the land.
It is seeking a possession order from the courts for one of the allotment plots which forms part of the commune.
The particular plot has a two metre deep cave which Mr Purbrick dug and used as a meditation space, which has now been deemed unsafe by East Sussex Fire and Rescue.
Mr Purbrick said: The cave has been checked out by the fire brigade and has been declared unsafe because it doesn't have a fire exit.
I know lots of people in this town who live in houses with only one door with no fire exit but I'm happy to put a fire exit in the cave, which I think I can do by digging down from the top.
At the moment there's an interim injunction order on entering the cave so we can't do any of that work.
We've got a hearing on Thursday at Brighton County Court and I'm going to be asking the judge to lift the interim injunction so that we can do the necessary work on the cave to make it safe.
As well as the possession order for the cave plot, the council is also seeking an injunction for the entire commune to be kicked off the allotments.
This will be heard on March 16 again at Brighton County Court.
The council argues Mr Purbrick and other dwellers are taking up at least two plots which would be enough to provide space for 20 families to grow vegetables.
But Mr Purbrick syas he has improved the area by transforming derelict plots into a virtually self-sufficient community.
It is not the first time the council has tried to force Mr Purbrick and the commune from the land.
In May 2000 he moved from the land he had occupied since 1993 after an eviction order was granted following complaints that he kept chickens and bees.
But he returned to his shed in July that year and has since rebuilt a thriving community, despite the councils repeated attempts to ban him from the allotments.
The the linked video upthread said he used the cave as a “meditation room.” So it seems the story says he lives in the cave, yet the video shows outbuildings ...so it’s hard to tell were he actually “lives/sleeps.”
The Argus story says it is a commune.
Looks more like a dugout than a cave.
Nanny just can’t leave well enough alone.
Folks in the UK are used to all the government intrusion, so I'm glad to see this guy, no matter what he calls himself, fighting back.
Incidentally, the standard size for an allotment is three rods. This is one of those delightfully arcane and now sadly redundant units of measurement we used to have to learn at school in England (rods, poles and perches). Three rods is 90' x 30'.
..........Brighton and Cove City Council had sought an injunction banning him from entering the cave, but he continued to live there.
However, today a judge granted the council a possession order which will allow Mr Purbrick to be formally evicted and banned indefinitely from the site.
He said he now had no choice but to take the case to the continent, claiming his eviction will be in breach of Articles Eight and Nine of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Article Eight states that 'everyone shall have respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence' while Nine says 'Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.'
Mr Purbrick said: 'I will take this all the way to the European Court. I am still living there and intend to continue to do so.'
He had argued that he was entitled to live there because he had a sub tenancy from a previous allotment holder.
Mr Purbrick claimed the council was in breach of its 'moral duty' to ensure that the communal gardens and the wildlife there were allowed to thrive.
And he vowed to install a fire exit after the cave was declared 'unsafe' by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
He said: 'The cave has been checked out by the fire brigade and has been declared unsafe because it doesn't have a fire exit.
'I know lots of people in this town who live in houses with only one door with no fire exit.'
But Judge Jonathan Simpkiss told Brighton County Court how there were health and safety concerns that the cave could collapse.
He added: 'The council considers this was a danger to life. They have a responsibility to the public'.
Mr Purbrick was left with no option but to go to Europe after the judge refused leave to appeal in a UK court, saying it was a 'hopeless cause of trying to resist the inevitable'.
However Mr Purbrick has a history of overcoming legal challenges to his cave dwelling.
In 1999 town hall chiefs threatened to turf him out, claiming he was running an illegal vegetable shop.
But Mr Purbick won a repreive claiming his site' was hardly a Sainsbury's' and he only had one customer - a pregnant woman who bought his sprouts. The following year he successfully fought an eviction order after complaints he was keeping chickens and bees without permission.
Sounds to me like Brighton and Cove City Council thinks they can get “something” by getting them out of his allotment patch.
If they just don’t like the look, you’d think they would start with building codes!
That’s what our “Big Brother” does!!!
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