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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 October, 2004, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
'Eyesore' car collection must go
Mr Goodall's Trabant collection
The Trabants are in Mr Goodall's back garden
A man who refused to remove the world's largest private collection of East German Trabant cars from his land has been fined 750.

Graham Goodall, 58, was found guilty of failing to comply with an enforcement notice issued by the Peak District National Park Authority.

The 49-strong collection had been labelled an eyesore by some residents of Middleton-by-Youlgreave, Derbys.

Mr Goodall claimed he had been unable to comply with the earlier order.

Conflicting claims

The order had demanded he dispose of 40 of his vehicles by March.

Mr Goodall, who faced a fine of up to 20,000 for breaching the notice, served under the Town and Country Planning Act, told a district judge at North East Derbyshire Magistrates Court that he was in Germany at the time the enforcement notice was served.

He said he returned after a holiday and religious conference in June last year to discover it was too late for him to appeal against the order, which required him to stop using the orchard by his home for vehicle storage.

But his former next-door neighbour, Jean Youatt, said she had seen the 58-year-old in May last year, when he claimed to have been abroad.

Character 'harmed'

She described the retired engineer as a "loveable rogue" in court but said his unusual hobby had affected their relationship over the 23 years they lived next door to each other.

Mr Goodall's Trabants, originally built for workers in the former Communist state and now traded for up to 7,000, are parked 400 metres from a public footpath and have been condemned as an "eyesore".

Authority officials claimed that following complaints from residents they had no choice but to act to prevent "harm to the character and amenity of the area".

Mr Goodall was also ordered to pay 250 costs.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Footage of the controversial Trabant collection



SEE ALSO:
Honecker's cars under the hammer
04 Nov 03  |  Europe
'Mini East Germany' planned
28 Feb 03  |  Europe


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