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Brothers' golf club row goes to court as county threatens to seize assets
TWO golf club owners who were jailed over the extension of their course are returning to court to battle with Oxfordshire County Council.
The Wyatt brothers face having their assets taken away in their dispute with the local authority.
Waste material from the construction of the M40 services was used to extend the brothers’ course at Waterstock Golf Club, near Wheatley, in the 1990s.
Officials at the county council claim the brothers, Mick and Ron, did not have the correct permission to use the waste.
The authority also claims the brothers, aged 76 and 72 respectively, have done nothing to remove the waste, despite them being sent to prison over it.
Now Oxfordshire County Council is seeking a court date for taking possession of some of their assets.
That would pay for the authority to do the work itself.
The council would then have to head in and reclaim the waste, which now forms the basis of a golf course.
Ron Wyatt, who spent three months in prison, said: “There is no waste on the site that we brought on to it. I don’t think it is in the public interest for the council to pursue this. It will mean ripping up a site that has been very well manicured.
“Applying to sequester our assets is not very nice and unnecessary.”
The council says the brothers should have sought permission from it before carrying out the extension work.
It was in 1998 that the brothers received a first injunction ordering them to clear the waste.
After no work was carried out, a High Court order was issued in 2005.
In December 2012, the two brothers appeared at the Court of Appeal in London in a final attempt to avoid jail.
But a panel of three High Court judges found in favour of the county council and the pair were sent to prison.
The brothers are expecting to appear in court again in June or July, when a judge will decide if the county council can take hold of their assets.
County council spokesman Paul Smith said: “The council is keen for the Wyatts to remove the waste. They have taken no steps to do so in contravention of the injunction and despite receiving custodial sentences.
“We have applied for sequestration of their assets. This will enable money to be raised to pay for the waste removal by ourselves. The Wyatts object to that process and the court is considering their objections.”
The Oxford Mail asked Mr Smith how much money the council was seeking to recover from the Wyatts’ assets to pay for the work, but he did not respond.
Oxfordshire County Council is responsible for planning permission, relating to the management of waste and the extraction of minerals.
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