Resident prosecuted for planning breach and fined £650

On 4 March at Guildford Magistrates’ Court, Michael Leaver of Oaks Farm, South Godstone was convicted of failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice. Mr Leaver was fined £250, ordered to pay £30 to the victim support fund, plus the Council’s legal costs of £367.50.

On 30 August 2018 the Council issued a planning enforcement notice to Mr Leaver requiring him to demolish a timber barn which had been built without planning permission. 

Mr Leaver did not appeal against the notice, so it took effect on 4 October 2018 after which he had three months to demolish the barn and clear the site. On 7 January 2019 a council officer visited the site and saw the timber barn had not been demolished. 

At Guildford Magistrates’ Court Mr Leaver pleaded guilty. The Council’s advocate confirmed to the Court that Mr Leaver must remove the barn and if he wanted to build a new one, he would have to apply for planning permission.

Councillor Gill Black, Chair of the Planning Committee, said: “As a planning authority it is our job to make sure we protect our district and its residents from illegal development. This is important to stop sporadic development, but also to make sure all construction is carried out safely. We hope this conviction reminds residents and businesses about the need to seek the relevant permissions before carrying out any building works.”

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