Man fined more than £2,400 for breaching planning law

A man has been ordered to pay more than £2,400 in fines and costs after breaking planning laws over several years.

Paul Smith, 70 and of Pine Lodge, Dunley Road in Stourport on Severn, was prosecuted by Malvern Hills District Council after failing to comply with two planning enforcement notices related to separate offences. He pleaded guilty at Worcester Magistrates' Court on 2 July and was fined £1,440 and ordered to pay £847.70 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

The first complaint against Smith dates back to 2009 when he built a home on his land at Cherry Orchard, Stourport. After telling him the development was unauthorised, planning officers advised Smith to apply for a certificate of lawfulness, which he did in December 2010.

This was refused and Smith appealed but it was turned down by the Planning Inspectorate. A notice of enforcement ordering the house to be removed was issued in September 2012. Three months later Smith wrote to the council to inform them he was taking steps to remove the house but by April of this year it was still in place and the council decided to prosecute. It was finally removed last month (June).

The second case began in September 2012 when Smith brought a mobile home on to his land at Pine Lodge in Dunley Road also in Stourport, which he rented out without planning permission. The home had already been in place for seven years.

Smith submitted an application for a certificate of lawfulness which was refused in January 2013 and an enforcement notice issued two months later. Smith appealed both the refusal decision and the notice but his attempt was dismissed in June 2014. He was then given until December last year to comply with the notice but failed to do so. Although the home has now been moved a few metres from Pine Lodge, it remains on an unauthorised site.

Duncan Rudge, development control manager at Malvern Hills District Council, said: "We are pleased with the decision in this case. We will not tolerate breaches of planning control where development is clearly contrary to local planning policy. We will pursue such cases for as long as is necessary in order to achieve a satisfactory conclusion and preserve the character and visual appearance of our rural areas."