Fines and criminal conviction for man guilty of planning breaches
A man who failed to comply with two planning enforcement notices has been successfully prosecuted at Barkingside Magistrates' Court (31 January 2023).
Mr Stephen Wright, owner of the site at 179-181 Cherry Tree Lane, Rainham, pleaded guilty for breaching a planning enforcement notice for the unauthorised change of use of the property to store motor vehicles, building materials and other equipment and to breaching a S215 ‘untidy’ land notice which required further tidying of the land.
After the first investigation by the Planning Enforcement team in 2020, Mr Wright was issued with both a Planning Enforcement Notice requiring him to permanently cease use of the land for the storage of motor vehicles and building supplies and the S215 Town and Country Planning Act Notice requiring him to clear and tidy the land.
Further visits in 2021 and 2022 revealed that no attempt had been made to comply with the notices.
Failure to comply were criminal offences under both Notices.
The Defendant attended in person unrepresented at Barkingside and entered guilty pleas on both counts.
The Magistrates found in favour of the Council as follows.
- Mr Wright was personally fined £807 fine (reduced from £1,211 for guilty plea) for the offence of breaching a planning enforcement notice
- Victim surcharge: £81
- Prosecution costs: £3,806
- Total: £4,694, to be paid by 25 February 2023 via a Collection order
Mr Wright must pay the fines and the Council’s costs.
He also now holds two criminal convictions and must comply with the works or risks further prosecutions and fines.
Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council, said:
“The impact of Mr Wright’s actions and behaviour on surrounding neighbours was entirely unacceptable, not to mention the potential danger to life from the storage of petrol engines in the back garden.
"I’m very grateful to the Planning Enforcement Team for their continued efforts to keep our residents safe.
“This successful prosecution should act as a warning to all residents not to ignore the conditions attached to any enforcement notices, because there are significant consequences if you fail to do so.
"We will not hesitate to use the powers that we have available to us to stop poor behaviour.”