Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Couple fined for flouting planning laws

The owners of a Galgate farm have been ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling £7,950 after pleading guilty to flouting planning laws.

Charles Newhouse and Joan Telford, of Stoneybrook Farm, pleaded guilty at Lancaster Magistrates’ Court to breaching two enforcement notices issued by Lancaster City Council.

The court heard that Newhouse and Telford were served with enforcement notices in 2007 for a number of breaches of planning law at Stoneybrook Farm.

The breaches included having a static caravan on the land for residential purposes, using the site to store non-agricultural equipment and making a number of alterations to the site without planning permission.

The enforcement notices required a number of works to be completed to reinstate the site, including the removal of the caravan, and they were upheld by a planning inspector at an independent public inquiry in January 2008.

Despite this, they were not complied with and the council was left with no option but to prosecute.

Newhouse and Telford both pleaded guilty in court to breaching the two enforcement notices and were fined £6,750. They were also ordered to pay the city council's costs of £1,200 and that the city council could apply to the court for further fines if they continued to be in breach of the enforcement notices.

“Planning permission is not an ‘optional extra’ and is needed to ensure that people do not carry out works which have the potential to have a detrimental effect on our district," commented Coun Keith Budden, chairman of the council’s planning committee.

“This case should serve as a warning to other people that the council will have no hesitation in enforcing the law and will take action against those who flout planning laws."

Links to all the Enforcement Notices issued by the Council in the last five years

• Find out if planning applications have been made for work on your street: search for applications by street

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