£1k planning fine for Hatfield Heath man

A MAN has been fined £1,000 after being found guilty of failing to respond adequately to planning contravention notices served on him by Uttlesford District Council.

Paul Hamby, of Ardley Crescent, Hatfield Heath, was also ordered to pay costs of £516.30 and a victim surcharge of £100 by Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on January 15. He did not attend the hearing.

The district council received a complaint in April 2012 that land at The Barn, Broxted business Park, Pledgdon Green, Henham was being use for repair of motor vehicles without the benefit of planning permission.

In addition 50 vehicles had been parked on land surrounding The Barn over the weekend of June 1-5 2012 and a 1.8 metre high fence had been erected on the boundary with the highway.

Planning permission is required for a fence exceeding 1 metre adjacent to the highway.

The authority believed there may have been a breach of planning control and therefore served a Planning Contravention Notice (PCN) on the owner/occupier of the land.

The PCN requires the owner to give information within 21 days as to any operations or use of land and names and addresses of any persons with an interest in the land.

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Mr Hamby, as owner of the land, failed to reply to the first PCN and the answers to subsequent notices were inadequate.

The council was unable to ascertain whether or not land was being used for any purpose for which planning permission would be required.

Chairman of UDC’s planning committee, councillor Jackie Cheetham, said: “This council takes breaches of planning control very seriously. This case shows that the magistrates do so as well.

“It is unacceptable for the minority to believe they can do as they wish when the vast majority of our residents follow the correct procedure. Planning restrictions are there to protect neighbours and visitors from inappropriate development or uses.”