Landowner ordered to pay £2,670 in fines, costs and victim surcharge

East Devon District Council has successfully prosecuted a local land owner Matthew Salter for failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice issued on 18 September 2017.

Mr Salter had carried out unauthorised development to an agricultural barn at Hornshayes Farm Stockland by creating five rooms within the first floor hayloft, two rooms at ground level and 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.

Mr Salter had not appealed the enforcement notice and did not carry out the required steps to remove the works within the two months required and therefore the council brought the prosecution before Exeter Magistrates’ Court.

The case was heard on 29 November 2018 and 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 and whilst 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 the council’s legal costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £170.

Following the hearing, Cllr Mike Howe, Chairman of the 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.