Stockland landowner fined after renovating agricultural barn without permission
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A Stockland landowner who built seven rooms in his agricultural barn has admitted failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice.
Matthew Salter was prosecuted by East Devon District Council after the authority issued the notice on September 18 2017.
Mr Salter had carried out unauthorised development to an agricultural barn at Hornshayes Farm, in Stockland, by creating five rooms within the first floor hayloft, two rooms at ground level.
He also had installed a garage door, domestic door and windows to the barn.
The enforcement notice required these works to be removed and the barn returned to agricultural use.
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However, action was taken after Mr Salter did not appeal the enforcement notice and did not carry out the required steps to remove the works within the two months required.
The district council then brought the prosecution before Exeter Magistrates’ Court.
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At the hearing, on November 29 2019, Mr Salter pleaded guilty to failing to carry out the steps required by an enforcement notice within the period for compliance.
Mr Salter stated he wanted the doors as ‘security’ for the barn and he had asked how he could keep the doors.
He added that while he hadn’t complied with the notice he never thought the matter would go any further.
Mr Salter was fined £2,000 and also ordered to pay £670 costs.
Following the hearing, Cllr Mike Howe, chairman of East Devon District Council’s development management committee said: “The council takes unauthorised development very seriously and as a local authority are charged with using our enforcement powers to ensure that development carried out without planning permission is removed.
“It is disappointing that the enforcement notice was not complied with and we are pleased that the courts have supported the action taken, by the level of fine.”
A breach of planning control is defined in section 171A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as the carrying out of development without the required planning permission, or failing to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted.