North Shropshire landowner prosecuted for planning enforcement breach
Shropshire Council has successfully prosecuted a north Shropshire landowner for failing to comply with an enforcement notice to stop the unauthorised use of land for residential purposes.
Shropshire Council took court action to seek to resolve this matter and at Telford Magistrates Court on Monday 27 June Michelle Kelsey pleaded guilty to the offence and was ordered to pay a £400 fine.
In April 2015 planning permission (14/02078/FUL) was granted to Ms Kelsey to temporarily allow a caravan to be sited on the land known as Heartlands Farm, Hampton Wood, Ellesmere, to support the start-up of a new equine business on the land.
After three years the caravan should have been removed and – if the business was financially viable and the need for accommodation on site demonstrated – an application for a permanent dwelling submitted.
However, Ms Kelsey sought to remain on the land with the caravan, and despite the council giving additional time to make arrangement, the voluntary removal was not secured.
In April 2019, an enforcement notice was served, which required the residential use to cease and removal of the caravan, and gave until 8 May 2020 for this to be carried out.
Due to the pandemic affecting people’s ability to move, at the end of this period the council sought to work with Ms Kelsey and allowed additional time for compliance. However, rather than comply she brought a replacement caravan to site, indicating a lack of intention to comply with the requirements of the notice.
Ed Potter, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for planning, said:
“This case shows that we take compliance with planning conditions very seriously. Where people fail to comply, we will take enforcement action and, where necessary, will pursue this through the courts.
“In relation to this case, complaints continue to be received about the breach and the owner’s failure to comply with the notice, and the apparent disregard for the planning rules.
“Shropshire Council officers now continue to pursue the compliance with the enforcement notice, and secure the removal of the caravan. Further court proceedings could follow if timely compliance does not occur.”