Council restores Green Belt in Sarratt after “serious offences” were committed
10th July 2017
A homeowner was successfully prosecuted following non-compliance with an Enforcement Notice which required a parcel of land to be returned back into agriculture in Sarratt.
An area of woodland was removed and a new access was installed onto Sarratt Road with a large area of gravel hard surfacing laid on former agricultural land which was being used for residential purposes.
The prosecution followed after the Council had defended a planning appeal in June 2016 and was awarded significant costs in the process. The owner’s reluctance to comply fully with the Notice prompted the Council’s planning and legal department to prosecute following a lengthy enforcement investigation.
The Magistrates in summarising the case concluded that “we have listened to the facts and how far this goes back and the timetable of the appeal and notices served and we have taken into account all the important elements of mitigation including that there has been a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity and that there has been compliance as of today. Nevertheless, these are serious offences.“
The owner was fined £8,570 and has since complied with the notice which included the creation of a verge along Sarratt Road and significant re-seeding of a native grass mix.
Councillor Chris Whately-Smith (Chairman of Planning Committee) has praised staff for their efforts to ensure this particular breach was remedied and further commented that “homeowners who simply ignore planning advice and enforcement notices run the severe risk of being prosecuted as the Council will simply not tolerate such blatant disregard for the planning process.”