Released on 8 May 2018 Press Release
Stratford-on-Avon District Council has successfully prosecuted three individuals for providing false or misleading information when responding to a planning contravention notice.
Planning Contravention Notices were served on the owner and the occupier of a property known as The Bungalow at Lyndon's Farm in Earlswood to establish whether a garage building was being used as a separate dwelling.
Some of the answers given in response to the Planning Contravention Notices conflicted with other evidence which the District Council had.
A E Beckett & Sons Limited, Simon Beckett and Laura Richardson (the Defendants) had all initially pleaded not guilty, and the prosecution case went to trial on 24 April at the Magistrates Court in Nuneaton.
In giving sentence the Chairman of the Magistrates Court found all three Defendants guilty of the charges; describing their evidence as inconsistent and not credible, with the District Council proving its case beyond reasonable doubt.
The District Council was awarded full costs of £7,616.89.
The fines and costs were broken down as follows:
A E Beckett & Sons Limited (owner) - fine of £1,000, costs of £4,500 and victim surcharge of £100.
Simon Beckett (owner) - fine of £1,000, costs of £2,896.89 and victim surcharge of £100.
Laura Richardson (occupier) - fine of £150, costs of £220 and victim surcharge of £30.
Cllr Simon Lawton, Chairman of Regulatory Committee says: "This case has taken up considerable planning department and legal services staff time and resources. During his judgement the Chairman praised officers for their professionalism in presenting evidence during the proceedings and for the clarity of our case and I would like to thank all the officers involved. The message is to provide correct answers to Planning Contravention Notices and not to provide false or misleading information in an attempt to circumvent the planning system."
Providing false or misleading information on a planning contravention notice is an offence under Section 171(D)(5)(b) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by the Planning and Compensation Act 1991
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575