Bardwell man fined for enforcement breach

Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court
Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court
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A Bardwell man has been has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds after being convicted of breaching a council enforcement notice.

James Lumley, of Bowbeck, was found guilty of the breach following a trial at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates court on Tuesday (April 12).

He was fined £1,200 and ordered to pay £1,500 in court costs.

The court heard that the land is designated for agricultural use and St Edmundsbury Borough Council served an enforcement notice on Lumley in November 2011.

The notice required Lumley to remove a static caravan, vehicles, machinery and building materials and other items unrelated to the agricultural use of the land.

It took effect on January 10, 2012, and required full compliance within six months.

No appeal was submitted, the notice period lapsed and, despite meetings and site visits over the years, it has not been complied with.

Lumley, who pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing, argued that the items were in agricultural use.

Speaking after the case, Cllr John Griffiths, leader of the council, said: “The council has tried very hard to work with Mr Lumley to rectify the eyesore on this agricultural land.

“Despite numerous attempts, discussions and warnings he didn’t comply with the notice. In such cases, the council ultimately has to seek redress through the courts. Mr Lumley will now have to comply with the notice or could face further court action.”

He added: “Nobody wants to go to the trouble, considerable expense, and time involved in going to court but there was little alternative in this case and this is also a warning to others, that we will serve notices where necessary and if these are not complied with, prosecution will follow.”