Landowner fined for failing to comply with enforcement notice
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An owner of farmland in Almondsbury, South Gloucestershire has been ordered to pay almost £12,000 for failing to comply with an enforcement notice served by South Gloucestershire Council.
Mr Anthony Boll, currently residing in Thailand but formerly of Gloucester Road, Avonmouth was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay a further £1,743.46 in costs when the case was heard at Yate Magistrates Court on Thursday 27 November.
Mr Boll failed to attend court but was represented in his absence, and a guilty plea was entered for the offence of failure to comply with an enforcement notice. The enforcement notice was originally served in September 2009, and following an appeal lodged against the notice, Boll was given six months to alter two agricultural barns and remove large quantities of building materials and waste from the rural land at Gaunts Earthcott, Almondsbury. He was also given 12 months to remove a large area of concrete hardstanding for parked vehicles and return the land to its condition before the breach took place.
He had failed to achieve this by the end of the compliance periods, but during regular visits the council’s planning enforcement team observed that he had started works to comply and was progressively improving the condition of the land. However in August 2014 there was evidence of new buildings being erected to house materials which contravened the requirements of the enforcement notice and prosecution action began.
The council demonstrated to the court that Boll had been in breach of the enforcement notice for several years and despite a period of progress towards compliance, had then intensified the breach causing further harm to the green belt and the rural setting.
Cllr Claire Young, Chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Communities Committee, said: “Planning regulations and enforcement notices are put in place to help protect the local environment and we take their breach very seriously. This site is agricultural land in the green belt. We considered that there was little evidence of any viable agricultural use and that there was significant harm to the visual amenity and the openness of the green belt, which failed to respect the character of the rural area.
“This fine amounts to exactly half of the maximum penalty for non-compliance with an enforcement notice, and matches the highest punishment handed out for such an offence in South Gloucestershire over the last ten years.”
South Gloucestershire Council were awarded full costs for the prosecution and Mr Boll was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120.
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