Coalbrookdale couple prosecuted for planning enforcement breach

A Coalbrookdale couple who failed to comply with a planning enforcement notice were successfully prosecuted at Telford Magistrates court yesterday (29 March 2021).

Coalbrookdale couple prosecuted for planning enforcement breach

Mr Sean Daniel Fitzpatrick and Ms Carlene Camilla Mahli, joint owners of 22 Darby Road, Coalbrookdale, had built a timber gazebo and decking on their property without planning permission.

The Grade II listed property sits within the Severn Gorge Conservation Area and Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site and is subject to strict planning regulations in order to preserve its character and appearance and the character and appearance of its historically significant setting.

A planning enforcement notice was served on 8 July 2020 advising the couple that they had breached planning control regulations and ordering them to remove the unauthorised gazebo and decking from their property.

No appeal was made against the planning notice that took effect on 8 August 2020, giving the couple until 8 September 2020 to remove the gazebo and decking, which they failed to comply with.

Appearing before Telford Magistrates Court yesterday, the couple were found guilty of failing to comply with the planning enforcement notice and were each fined £450.  They were also ordered to comply with the planning enforcement notice and remove the gazebo and decking. They will face further action if they fail to do so.

Cllr Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for enforcement, said: “The Ironbridge Gorge is a unique place and one of the first places to be designated as a World Heritage Site in the UK. We have a joint responsibility to preserve its character, and so I am pleased with the outcome of this case.

“The couple opted to ignore the conservation regulations that are there to protect the area and failed to comply with planning laws, despite the risk of prosecution.

“I hope this case sends a clear message that breaches of planning will not be tolerated and action will be taken wherever necessary to conserve our borough.

“I would like to urge residents who wish to develop their property to fully research the planning regulations first and, if in doubt, to check with us to save unnecessary expense and hassle. We are here to offer advice and support.”

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