Two landowners who sited two mobile home units on land in Ascot without planning permission have been fined for developing the site unlawfully. Bracknell Forest Council obtained court orders prohibiting development of the site in November 2009. The orders were replaced with legally binding ‘promises’ given by the landowners to the court not to undertake any further work. The landowners subsequently submitted a planning application for ‘the use of land as residential caravan site for two gypsy families, accommodating four caravans (one travelling caravan and one static mobile home on each pitch) and two portable amenity buildings with associated drive from Birch Lane, areas of hardstanding, stables building, dog pens and septic tank.’ The Council refused planning permission in May 2010.
The landowners then proceeded to construct stables, kennels and hard standing on the land without permission and have, as a result, been fined £27,500 for carrying out unauthorised development, and ordered to pay the Council’s legal costs. The judge held that the owners’ actions amounted to a ‘flagrant and persistent breach of planning legislation.’ The Council has also served an enforcement notice on the landowners requiring the reinstatement of the site. This case serves as a timely reminder of the consequences of ongoing breaches of planning law.