A North Warwickshire resident, who used land for storing old vehicles and scrap metal, has been served the biggest fine in the Borough Council’s history.
Mr Charles Burns received a fine of £20,000 plus a further £1,500 costs at Nuneaton Magistrates Court for ignoring an Enforcement Notice. The Council originally served the notice in 1968, in relation to land at 125 A Coleshill Road, Chapel End. Although the notice was initially complied with, in recent years Mr Burns had started to use the plot to store and break up motor vehicles and also to store scrap metal.
Planning officers from the Borough Council had visited the site in October 2013, November 2013 and June 2014 and found vehicles and scrap metal still present in breach of the Enforcement Notice. Although Mr Burns insisted that he was using the vehicles and the site as a hobby, this was discredited in court.
Steve Maxey, Assistant Chief Executive and Solicitor to the Council said: “ This was a satisfactory outcome for the Borough Council to a persistent issue that has disturbed local residents greatly. Mr Burns defended his actions by claiming he was using the vehicles and the site as his hobby.
“However, we were able to prove that vehicles could not be stored here and also that recovery vehicles had also been spotted, suggesting that he was running a business.”
Under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, it is an offence for anyone who owns or has an interest in land covered by an Enforcement Notice, to continue with any activities covered by the Notice.