Wokingham Borough Council has successfully prosecuted a number of people across the borough in recent months for failing to comply with planning regulations.
The council experienced a fourfold increase in planning enforcement issues during 2011 and has substantially more in the pipeline this year.
So the message is this – if you breach or flout planning regulations you could end up in court.
Liquor Direct Ltd at 27 Denmark Street, in Ruislip was prosecuted at Reading Magistrates Court on March 30 for four offences of illegally displaying advertisements. The company was found guilty in its absence and fined £500 for each offence (£2,000 in total), as well as £300 prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
Ozlem Satlik of the Kebab shop at 42 Station Road, Wokingham was prosecuted on March 7 at Slough Magistrates Court for five offences of displaying advertisements without the relevant permission from the council. She was fined £100 per offence (£500 in total) and ordered to pay £2,245.35 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
Ruben Reed of Fairlands, Church Lane, Farley Hill was fined £3,000, £815 costs and a £15 victim surcharge at Reading Magistrates Court in January (16.01.12) for non-compliance with a planning enforcement notice. Following an appeal hearing at Crown Court on March 16 the fine was reduced to £2,000, although the other orders stayed the same (totalling £830). The enforcement notice was served because Mr Reed had built a large barn in the countryside without planning permission. The enforcement notice requires this barn to be demolished.
Father and son, David and Kevin Rixon of Lower Rivermead Farm in Wargrave were fined £8,000, £840 costs and a £30 victim surcharge at Reading last November (23.11.11) for non-compliance with a planning enforcement notice. The notice was served because the couple had built a house in the Green Belt without planning permission. Again this notice requires the house to be demolished.
Mark Cupit, head of development management, said: "I'm happy to say that most residents follow the correct planning application requirements or, if accidentally failing to do so, remedy this quickly when it comes to light.
"In these cases however, the council has had to follow a very lengthy and expensive exercise to ensure the correct outcome.
"I hope this gives due warning that Wokingham Borough Council will pursue those who blatantly ignore the council's and national planning policies."
To find our more about planning regulations for both residents and businesses visit www.wokingham.gov.uk and click on Planning Control on the left hand side.