Bricket Wood nudists fight off eviction attempt


Spielplatz - Credit: Archant

A naturist couple who spent more than £100,000 improving their home at a well-known local nudist colony have fought off a test case bid by their landlord to get them out.

John and Maureen Pearson have been part of the “naked village” community at Spielplatz in Lye Lane, Bricket Wood, and have occupied a plot there since 1992.

Since buying their chalet for the then princely sum of £36,000, the couple have spent a six-figure sum on beautifying and virtually rebuilding it.

But their landlord, Spielplatz Limited, claimed they had almost as few rights as squatters and launched court action to evict them in 2013.

Mr and Mrs Pearson fought tooth and nail to hold onto plot 44a and have now triumphed at the Court of Appeal.

Top judge, Sir Colin Rimer, said their chalet had become “part of the land” and they had the protection of an assured tenancy.

Between 2008 and 2012, the Pearsons transformed their chalet, clothing it in breeze blocks and putting on a new roof.

They eventually set about virtually rebuilding it after a leak in the bathroom and estimated they had spent about £100,000 on the work.

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But the couple’s efforts resulted in “some unfriendly correspondence” between them and Spielplatz Limited with the company claiming the couple were “changing an essentially wooden dwelling into a larger and more permanent brick/block structure”.

Relations between the Pearsons and their landlord eventually became so bad that Spielplatz launched a possession action.

In April last year at Luton County Court, Judge Lindsay Davies refused to order the couple to leave, ruling they were protected by the Housing Act 1988.

Spielplatz Limited challenged the decision and on Tuesday Sir Colin ruled that Judge Davies’ reasoning was ‘unanswerable’.

The Pearsons’ chalet was too big and heavy to move, other than in several pieces, and had become ‘part and parcel’ of the land on which it stood, he ruled.

Lords Justice Laws and Burnett, sitting with Sir Colin, agreed that the company’s appeal should be dismissed.