Trio fined £3k for breaching council enforcement notice in Walsham-le-Willows

Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court
Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court
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Three people have been fined thousands of pounds for not complying with a council enforcement notice.

Elizabeth Davenport, Brian Cocksedge and Joshua Davenport were told to remove a mobile home from agricultural land in Walsham-Le-Willows which they did not have planning permission to use.

On May 13, at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court, they were all found guilty of failing to comply with an enforcement notice which required them to stop using and remove the mobile home.

They were fined a total of £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £999 and a £270 victim surcharge.

Mid Suffolk District Council’s planning enforcement team had conducted a lengthy investigation into activities on the land before bringing the matter to court earlier this year.

An enforcement notice was originally served on the group on August 20 2012.

An appeal was lodged and the planning inspectorate decided in May 2013 that the original terms were excessive. A revised notice was issued with a compliance date of February 20 2014.

Further visits were carried out and, after a final one in August 2015, court proceedings were begun.

The enforcement notice had been in force on the land since 2014, but negotiations with the defendants had failed to resolve the issue.

James Buckingham, corporate manager for environmental protection at Babergh and Mid Suffolk District councils, said: “Whenever we issue an enforcement notice we always provide sufficient time for the recipient to comply.

“‘Unfortunately in this case, despite prolonged negotiations, the failure to comply forced us to resort to a prosecution. This is a last resort, but the council will always seek to enforce these notices through all options available.”