Following our news item regarding the story of the Mason family in Devon, we thought it might be nice to give an update before we all take some much-needed timeout during the festive holidays.  For those of you who are new to this story, the Masons are a family that had taken the opportunity that a small inheritance had brought to escape their social security dependent lives and become entirely self-sufficient on an orchard in Exeter, Devon, UK.  You’ll appreciate our total horror when we discovered the following

Dinah Mason is to attend court tomorrow, Friday 23rd December (2 days before Christmas), as she faces a potential prison sentence after failing to remove a horsebox from her and her husbands’ own agricultural plot of land.  The brakes on the vehicle have seized up, and Dinah had requested an extension of the 28-day period she was given to remove it from the land.  Instead she was given a court application notice.

How is the Council getting away with this sort of behaviour?  How can they justify it?  This family should be receiving accolades for having become role models, but instead they are being forced to keep themselves out of jail! And all because the council refused to grant permission for the piece of agricultural land they own to be designated for living as well. At a time when everyone needs to be pulling together to tighten their belts and public councils can ill afford to be wasting funds, Devon District Council are ploughing yet more public money into terrorising the Mason family.  

Since moving off their land, the Mason family – husband, wife and 2 young boys of 8 and 9 – have lived in a tent and caravan on 3 different sites.  Even after such abominable treatment, they still choose to not to take the easy option of being a drain on society and go into social-security funded accommodation, and onto benefits.  What a commendable and inspiring family!  Looking at the comments on the ‘This is Devon’ article they have masses of support from those who are aware of their plight, as well as their respect.

We have huge admiration and regard for this family and wish them all the luck in the world with this latest challenge they are facing just before Christmas.  We hope their story inspires others to support their actions and stands as a shining example of self-empowerment and self-responsibility against all odds.  We wish them a very happy Christmas and hope that they get to spend it together as a family.

If anyone is as disgusted by the Council’s actions as we are, please let your views be known to the key people within the Mid Devon District Council:

Contacts at Mid-Devon District Council

Planning Section email: [email protected]

Planning Section telephone number: +44 (0)1884 234260/234262

Enforcement Officer, John Clarke

+44 (0)1884 234947

[email protected]

Enforcement team webpage:

Leader of the Council, Peter Hare-Scott


Email: [email protected]

Telephone: +44 (0)1363 776409

Chairman of the Council, Brenda Hull


Email: [email protected]

Telephone: +44 (0) 01884 256384

Mid-Devon District Councillors can be found here:


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