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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 08:11 GMT
Good deed sours for homeless man
A woman in Somerset who offered a homeless man a roof over his head has run into trouble with a council.

Colin Johnstone has been sleeping in Sylvia Sparkes' caravan in Burnham-on-Sea since September 2006.

As Mrs Sparkes does not have planning permission for a residential property she and Mr Johnstone have been told they are breaking the law.

"I felt sorry for him and the caravan was sitting empty so why shouldn't somebody live in it?" she said.

Mr Johnstone has been selling The Big Issue magazine in Burnham-on-Sea for two years.

"I just want to be part of Burnham," he said.

Steve Atkinson, from Sedgemoor District Council, said: "Government planning regulations require planning permission for any caravan used as an independent unit for accommodation."

Mrs Sparkes has applied for permission to the council but expects to be refused.

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