Two Jacksdale residents have been convicted after ignoring a notice to clear land that breached planning control.
Ethan Gaskin and Neesha Cooper both pleaded guilty to one charge under section 179(4) and (5) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 of failing to comply with the requirements of an enforcement notice.
The enforcement notice, served in 2016, related to a breach of planning control on Green Belt land on Selston Road, Jacksdale. The notice ordered residential caravans, vehicles, timber field shelter, wooden shed and hard standing to be removed from the land, as well as a reduction in the height of fencing.
The notice was upheld on appeal by the Planning Inspector when it was deemed that the land should be returned to its previous condition by 5 October 2017.
When officers visited the site in December 2017 they found that none of the requirements of the enforcement notice had been complied with. A revisit in May 2018 found that still nothing had been done to address the notice.
The magistrates found that there had been persistent non-compliance with the enforcement notice and ordered them both to pay a fine of £75, costs of £50 and a victim surcharge of £30 – a total of £155 each.
Councillor Christian Chapman, Cabinet Member for Crime Prevention, said: “As a Council, we have tried to work with the landowners since the enforcement notice was issued in 2016 but numerous visits have proven that they just don’t want to listen. In this case, we were left with no choice but to prosecute.
“The land had become a blight on the area, not to mention the various habitats that were being destroyed by the fittings on site. This successful case proves that those who refuse to work with Planning Control should not expect to get away with it.”
The court heard that the defendants have now moved the caravans and vehicles off the site but the shelter is still in position. Officers will continue to work with the defendants to ensure they comply fully with the notice.