A Woman who failed to comply with an unlawful green belt stable enforcement notice was fined £160,000
The WW has first-hand knowledge of long-standing stables built in the borough – most of them during the Tory administration when enforcement action was a No, No. Even now, stables are being used for privately rented accommodation, as are pool rooms and other outbuildings.
A woman who failed to comply with an enforcement notice seeking to remove stables that were built unlawfully on green belt land has been ordered by a court to pay a total of £167,428.
Tracie Carter, who owns land at Aqueduct Lane, Alvechurch, Worcestershire, had been refused planning permission in 2004 for six stables but still developed the land, according to a Bromsgrove District Council press statement.
The site had a mobile home and decking, a stable block, an enclosed area to train horses, a hay store, fencing, gates and vehicle access, the council said.
A letterbox and sign displaying the name “Aqueduct Stables” appeared. The site was advertised on the sales website Gumtree as a “sports facility”, adding: “It was evident from site visits that Carter had moved into the mobile home and was renting out the stables and equine facilities to a third party.”
The council said it issued Carter with a planning enforcement notice in June 2015 that required her to remove the unlawful structures by October 21 of that year. But the 51-year-old developed the land further by adding another larger mobile home.
The statement said that Carter failed to attend court for her trial and was found guilty in her absence. She subsequently appeared before Kidderminster Magistrates Court on a warrant for sentencing on Monday, November 7).
According to the council statement, in sentencing, the district judge was required to have regard to any financial benefit that had accrued or could likely have accrued because of the unlawful development. She was fined £160,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £7,258 and a victim surcharge of £170.
After the sentencing, councillor Philip Thomas, whose portfolio covers planning, said:
“This final outcome demonstrates that Bromsgrove District Council takes planning breaches seriously.”