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Gloucestershire Business News

Landowner convicted over planning enforcement breaches

A Gloucestershire landowner has been convicted of breaching a planning enforcement notice and fined.

He failed to take down two buildings put up without planning permission and allowed lorry repair and vehicle paint spraying businesses to continue on his property.

Cheltenham Magistrates' Court heard that a concrete office building and a large metal barn had been built without planning permission on what had been a green field, and that a repair business for large lorries together with a paint spraying enterprise operated inside a building on the site as well.

David Turner of Lower Milton End Farm, Arlingham, denied breaching the enforcement notice when he appeared before the court.

However, the court heard that concerns expressed by local residents in 2014 about large lorries negotiating narrow lanes to the farm sparked an investigation by Stroud District Council.

The farm has permission for mixed agricultural use and bus storage - but not for the repair and paint spraying businesses nor the office and metal barn. The council said Mr Turner was notified of the concerns at that time and discussions took place, however in 2016 with the unlawful uses continuing, the council was left with no option but to issue a planning enforcement notice.

That notice required him to take down the two buildings and cease the lorry repair and paint spraying activities. However, by November 2017 he had not complied.

Mr Turner was found guilty of the criminal offence of breaching the enforcement notice and was fined £1,760, ordered to pay costs of £4,220.90 together with a victim surcharge of £170. The maximum fine for such an offence is unlimited.

Stroud District Council senior planning enforcement officer Ian Mallinson, who gave evidence at the hearing said the council continues to pursue landowners and companies which do not comply with planning law.

"The council will always try to work with landowners to ensure planning law is complied with," he said. "Enforcement action such as that taken in this case is a means of last resort but we will robustly pursue those who flout planning legislation as necessary."

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