CONTROVERSIAL developer Martin Young has lost his latest battle in the long-running saga over a house in Old Headington and now faces fresh court action.

A Government planning inspector has dismissed appeals Mr Young had made over three applications that had been turned down by Oxford City Council over his derelict property at 29 Old High Street.

He had been seeking to redevelop the property into a five-bedroom house but the planning inspector threw out the proposal.

Now the council is set to take Mr Young to court in August, because it claims he has not carried out improvement work on part of the property it had demanded under an enforcement order.

Neighbour for 40 years and Old High Street resident Stella Welford hopes that a conclusion to the planning battle “will come soon”.

Miss Welford said: “This has just been going on for so long.

“I have been involved with it since the beginning. It is a disappointing situation to have to cope with.

“There are holes in the roof now which I have been monitoring and the house itself is in a bad state. It needs to have some remedial work done on it.”


Mr Young, above, was granted permission last year for the partial demolition of the existing house and the construction of a two-storey side extension and a one-storey rear extension to make it into a three-bedroom property.

He decided not to go ahead with that proposal and instead submitted another planning application for the rear extension to be two storeys high, providing five bedrooms in total.

Mr Young has a month to challenge the planning inspector’s decision and plans to “keep on fighting”.

Because of the council’s refusal of his plans, Mr Young had claimed he believed planning permission granted in 1974, to build three chalets in the garden that he admitted were “horrible”, was still valid.

The Headington Hill resident, who once successfully sued the council after it crushed his car, said: “I really do think that what I have proposed is the best solution.

“The council is not being realistic about it.

“I will still go on fighting. There will be a next step, that’s for sure. I can always find something.”

Oxford City Council spokeswoman Louisa Dean said: “We are naturally pleased to receive the inspector’s decision dismissing all three planning appeals.

“The council will continue to take all necessary steps to bring the appearance of this property up to a reasonable standard.”

Veronica Hurst, the chairwoman of community group Friends of Old Headington, said: “In the past 60 years, there have been nearly 30 planning applications for that property.

“I’m pleased with the inspector’s decision.

“I think she was right and I think that the council was right to refuse permission to build a much bigger structure there.

“It’s the first house in the conservation area and we have been so disappointed that this has gone on for so long.

“Even though the house is in a pretty shocking state, there’s still an opportunity for it to be saved.”

Mr Young has also hit the headlines for his involvement in a lengthy court battle over the ownership of a £1m house in Warnborough Road, North Oxford, and for having his collection of 350 guns seized by Thames Valley Police.

He also attempted to use a legal loophole to turn a plot of land in Littlemore, into a waste dump.