Developer fined £3,500 for breaching planning rules
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South Gloucestershire Council has successfully prosecuted Bellway Homes South West Ltd, who were fined £3,500 plus costs after pleading guilty to breaching planning rules.
The prosecution was brought against property developer Bellway Homes South West Ltd of Seaton Burn House, Dudley Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne after they breached planning laws on a development at the former Rodford School site in Yate, South Gloucestershire, which is now called ‘Rodford Mews’.
Planning conditions attached to the site required the developer to maintain root protection areas away from construction activities to protect existing trees on the site, and wheel washing to ensure that no vehicle leaving the development site carried any mud on to Barnwood Road.
The council’s enforcement officers visited the site on a number of occasions, where they witnessed alterations to the protective fencing that was shielding the root protection area of an established oak tree. Digging had also taken place in the area around the roots, which had exposed and broken a number of them. Officers also witnessed the lack of wheel washing facilities, which had resulted in mud on the road, affecting highway safety. Failure to comply with the requirements of legal notices to cease such activities constituted an offence under section 187A(9) of the Town and Country Planning Act (1990) and the council took legal action.
The case was heard at North Avon Magistrates’ Court on Friday 8 January where the defendant pleaded guilty to two offences concerning tree protection and road safety and were fined £1,750 on each count.
Planning, Transport and Strategic Environment Chair Cllr Colin Hunt said: “Planning regulations are put in place to help protect the local environment and we take any breaches very seriously.
“In this case, the developer had endangered trees on the site by not protecting their roots and had risked road safety by failing to ensure vehicles were free of mud when leaving the development.
“Our planning enforcement team will take appropriate action whenever a breach to the planning rules occur.”
On top of the fines Bellway Homes South West Ltd were additionally ordered to pay South Gloucestershire Council £954.78 in costs and a victim surcharge of £120, bringing the total to £4,574.78.
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