30/04/2024 - Permalink

Farmer ordered to pay £45,000 for demolishing dovecote without consent

Related topics: Corporate / Planning

A Shropshire farmer has been ordered to pay fines and costs of more than £45,000 for demolishing a Grade II listed dovecote on his land without consent.

The case was brought by Shropshire Council against Philip Terrance Gore of Lower Newton Farm, Yockleton, who was sentenced at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court today (30 April 2024).

Philip Gore had previously admitted demolishing the dovecote (pictured) that was believed to date from the late 17th century and was the last remaining building associated with an ancient moated farmstead that once existed at the site.

Philip Gore was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay a contribution towards the council’s cost of £15,000, plus a victims surcharge of £190 – a total of £45,190.

The judge said that the fine for such an offence should be more than any potential financial gain by the defendant for the offence, and that the fine should also act as a deterrent against the commission of similar offences.

Chris Schofield, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for planning and regulatory services, said:

“Shropshire Council became aware of the offence when he submitted a notification for a new grain store on the site of the former dovecote.

“When officers visited the farm in March 2022 they found that the dovecote demolished and the site levelled with hardcore in preparation for the new building. Altering or demolishing a listed building without consent is a criminal offence.

“We have not taken the decision to prosecute him lightly.  This case will have long term consequences for both him and his farm business.

“However, this was one of the worst examples of deliberate damage and destruction to a listed building seen in the county in recent decades.”

Shropshire has 7,500 listed buildings, some of which are of global significance. They form a vital part of Shropshire’s heritage and a vital part of the county’s appeal and unique nature and what help to make it such and attractive place for so many people.

All owners of listed buildings, including those in the farming community, are encouraged to undertake routine repairs and maintenance on a regular basis.

Anyone thinking of undertaking any works to a listed building is advised to first talk to Shropshire Council’s planning team.