Page last updated at 16:19 GMT, Monday, 5 October 2009 17:19 UK

Boar farmer given chance to stay

Wild boar. Pic: PA
More than 100 wild boar were released from the farm in several attacks

A boar breeder whose Devon farm was attacked by suspected animal activists can make a fresh request to live on his land, the High Court has ruled.

North Devon District Council served enforcement notices on Allan Dedames, of West Anstey, South Molton, in 2007.

The council said he was living on the farm without lawful permission. Mr Dedames said he had to live on the site to protect his animals.

The High Court said that he should be able to apply for planning permission.

Mr Dedames was at the High Court in London to fight against a planning inspector's rejection of his appeal against the enforcement notices.

The judge was very fair, as it turned out
Allan Dedames

The notices required him to remove caravans and other items from the site on the grounds that he was living on his farm without lawful permission.

Mr Dedames, 42, argued he had to live on site to protect his animals and, if forced to move out, he would be left homeless.

He withdrew his High Court action on Monday after senior judge Sir George Newman called for "a fresh start".

The council agreed not to enforce the notices in order to give him time to formally apply for planning permission.

The judge urged the compromise because of costly delays and the overall expense of the legal action.

After the hearing, Mr Dedames said: "The judge was very fair, as it turned out."

Pregnant sows

But he added he had been left feeling "empty and blank" at "having to start everything over again".

If his new application is turned down, he could have to go through the appeal process, and its subsequent legal challenges, again.

Mr Dedames' farm was attacked in December 2005, and on subsequent occasions, by suspected animal rights activists. It led to more than 100 boar being released.

He estimated that at least a quarter of his stock were pregnant sows at the time they were released, with the average litter being about five piglets.

He said he calculated that there could be more than 200 wild boar now breeding wild in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.

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