Scaffolding firm prosecuted after ignoring planning enforcement notice
03rd December 2020
A Watford-based scaffolding firm has pleaded guilty in court and been fined £30,000 after ignoring a planning enforcement notice.
The enforcement notice was first served by Three Rivers District Council on Watford Scaffolding Ltd in August 2018 as the company had unlawfully occupied green belt land at Mill Bridge in Hunton Bridge without planning permission.
The company appealed but lost and was required to leave the site by 18 February 2020, but has stayed on the land ever since, with a significant impact on local residents.
The council took legal action, but delays due to Covid-19 meant the court hearing was postponed to 25 November, 2020.
Representatives from the company entered a guilty plea and were fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £2,550 costs at Stevenage Magistrates Court for failing to comply with an enforcement notice contrary to section 179(5) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Watford Scaffolding Ltd continues to occupy the site and remains in breach of the notice. But the company is expected to vacate the site by the end of January 2021. The company will face further prosecution if they remain on site beyond this date.
Councillor Steve Drury, the council’s Lead Member for Planning, said: “The council was clear from the start that if the company did not leave the site we would take legal action. The unauthorised use has caused considerable harm to the green belt but also to nearby residents who have had to put up with a lot of noise and disturbance which is unacceptable. It is hoped the company now leaves as promised.”
- See previous news story [November 2019]: https://www.threerivers.gov.uk/news/council-action-protects-green-belt