Father and son fined for illegal storage of vehicles

PUBLISHED: 16:53 21 September 2010

A FATHER and son from Sewards End have been fined £400 each for unlawfully using a meadow as a storage area for vehicles and machinery.

A FATHER and son from Sewards End have been fined £400 each for unlawfully using a meadow as a storage area for vehicles and machinery.

Alistair Reed, who owns the meadow, and his father Garry both pleaded guilty at Harlow Magistrates’ Court earlier this month, and were ordered to pay £400 of Uttlesford District Council’s costs between them and a £16 victim levy each, as well as the £400 fine.

The pair were prosecuted by the district council after breaching planning control for the use of the land, which is classified as “agricultural”. Objects being stored on the land included vehicles, an old tractor, metal barrels and pallets.

The council first got involved with the Reeds in April 2009, when it served an enforcement notice requiring them to remove items unconnected with agriculture from the land.

The pair appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, which in November dismissed their appeal. They were given three months to clear the land, but had still failed to do so by April 2010, when the council wrote to them to warn them that they would be prosecuted if they failed to comply.

Although the defendants made some effort to remove items from the land, their continuing refusal to clear the meadow of machinery and other items left the council with no choice but to take them to court.

Chairman of the council’s environment committee, Cllr Susan Barker, said: “Uttlesford is a beautiful rural district and the council is keen to ensure that it stays that way.

“There are strict rules about the use of the countryside and using green spaces such as the meadow in Sewards End for the storage of vehicles and machinery is not acceptable.

“The council will continue to investigate inappropriate use of land and as this case shows, will prosecute anyone who refuses to respect planning law.”


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