Appealcourt

Businessman facing £70,000 fine after losing planning appeal over caravans

A West Lancashire businessman is facing a fine of more than £70,000 after breaching council planning laws.

Businessman facing £70,000 fine after losing planning appeal over caravans

West Lancashire Borough Council took action against Timothy Edwards and his wife Susan after officers found they were illegally storing a large number of caravans on two fields at their property.

The council advised them that all of the caravans should be removed, but the couple failed to do this despite the enforcement notices, which were served on them, being upheld by an independent planning inspector.

Having earlier pleaded guilty Mr and Mrs Edwards were sentenced at Preston Crown Court on 23 February 2016.

Mr Edwards, of Bannister House Farm, The Marshes Lane, Tarleton, was originally ordered to pay £59,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act as well as a £3,500 fine and prosecution costs of £6,000. Mrs Edwards was also fined £500.

Mr Edwards launched an appeal challenging the fine and confiscation order, claiming both were excessive. But on Tuesday, January 23. the Court of Appeal in London upheld the sentence given to Mr Edwards. He must now pay the full amount, plus interest on the Proceeds of Crime Act Order of £7,981.

A further hearing is now due to take place at Liverpool Magistrates Court on 28 February 2018. If Mr Edwards hasn’t paid he will be questioned as to how he intends to pay and the court could give directions on how he should do this. A default prison sentence of 10 months was set at the time the order was made which can invoked if the court thinks he is failing to pay.

Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, said: “The Council welcomes this decision by the Court of Appeal as it shows the authority acted correctly in taking this legal action.

“This case sends out a strong warning and should deter other land owners and businesses from seeking to financially profit from breaches of planning control. Be warned! The Council will take the strongest possible action against people who break the law.”

 

Businessman facing £70 000 fine after losing planning appeal over caravans

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