‘Illegal’ holiday let leads to another fine for repeat offender
The belief that a holiday let is being used illegally has led to another fine for a repeat offender. There is reason to believe the holiday home in Granitethorpe Quarry, Sapcote, is being used as a permanent home, Blaby District Council has said.
This is a breach of planning controls, but attempts by the authority to contact the occupants and landowner, John Roger Mac, through a planning contravention notice (PCN) went unanswered. The notice was intended to help the council find out what was going on and would have given Mac and the occupants a chance to put across their point of view, Blaby said.
The council then took the matter to Leicester Magistrates’ Court where Mac, of Hinckley Road, Wolvey, was found guilty of non-compliance with a PCN. He was ordered to pay a total of £875 which included a fine of £220, costs of £567, as well as a victim surcharge of £88.
Mac has been fined a number of times already by the council for illegal building work on various sites. He was hit with a fine of almost £9,000 last October for starting building work after failing to stop illegal building work at the quarry, when the council’s Planning Enforcement team said the single structure under construction had not been permitted and had an “unsympathetic and unduly urbanising effect on the site’s rural character and appearance”.
Another fine of £1,897.50 was issued for illegal building work in February of this year. The building under construction at Mill Bank House, also in Sapcote, was was not in the position agreed when planning permission was granted and was bigger than it should be, the council said, resulting in the over-development of the site.
The planning inspectorate - the Government body which oversees planning disputes - ruled in agreement with the council in February last year, and Mac was given six months to clear the land and return it to grass. When he failed to do so within the six months, Blaby District Council started legal proceedings.
Speaking on the most recent fine, Councillor Ben Taylor said: “It is disappointing neither the holiday let occupants nor Mr Mac responded to our notices. If there had been an open channel of communication then perhaps legal action may have been avoided.
“However, since no response was received, we had no choice but to move forward with a prosecution. Planning rules are in force for a reason – to ensure fairness and provide a framework for development and how buildings are managed. We will act if those rules are broken.”
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- ^ Blaby District Council (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Leicester Magistrates’ Court (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ found guilty (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ 'Urgent' repairs and upgrades to be carried out at dozens of Leicester and Leicestershire schools (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ failing to stop illegal building work at the quarry (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ council’s Planning Enforcement team (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ was was not in the position agreed when planning permission was granted and was bigger than it should be (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ newsletter here (data.reachplc.com)