Successful planning enforcement cases

The Council has had success on three recent planning enforcement cases.

The first case saw the defendant plead guilty to non-compliance with an enforcement notice requiring him to cease using land south of Pound Farm, near Cobham, as a dog activity area.

The notice requires the defendant to cease dog walking or training on the site and to remove all fencing, a portable cabin and associated hard standing.

At Court on 28 September, the landowner was fined £2,100, the Council was awarded full costs of £2,523.51 and the Confiscation Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) was made for £7,805. The landowner was given 3 months to pay, and if he does not pay, he will face 4 months in prison.

This followed another case, on 13 September, related to a commercial dog and exercise business on Valentines Farm, where the landowner was served enforcement notices from the council.

The notices required the owner to stop the unauthorised mixed use of the land, as a commercial dog day care and exercise service, and to remove fencing, gates and all other paraphernalia as well as the removal of an unauthorised earth bund.

The Planning Inspectorate upheld our notice at appeal, and now the terms, and all changes to the site, must be made.

Another recent case involved an enforcement notice that was served to ensure that a building be reduced in size. In late 2016, Council officers visited the site and it was immediately apparent that the building under investigation did not reflect the approved plans, being considerably larger than approved.

The developer submitted a retrospective application that was refused by the council and the Planning Inspectorate. The enforcement notice that followed required the entire demolition of a barn and link way to bring it in line with the approved permissions.

Lead councillor for Housing and Development Management, Cllr Philip Brooker, said:
"We are pleased with the outcome of these recent cases. Those who want to set up and operate their own business must do so by complying with the law and by obtaining the necessary permissions. The prosecution in particular sends a clear message that we will not tolerate any illegal activity."

"We also work hard to ensure that planning permissions are adhered to. In regard to planning permissions being flouted, we will use our powers to ensure that buildings are reduced in size and scope when needed."

Published on Tuesday 2 October.