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Wollaton couple fined £20,000 for planning enforcement breaches

Words: Huw Morris
Koi Carp fish © iStock

A Nottinghamshire couple have been fined £20,000 for failing to comply with enforcement action and deliberately ignoring a local authority.

Ishitaq and Nila Ahmed, of Wollaton Vale, pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates Court after failing to comply with an enforcement notice served by Broxtowe Borough Council over outbuildings and a fish pond.

The case had spanned six years and involved various breaches of planning control, some of which had been resolved with retrospective planning permission and others by negotiation with the council.

Broxtowe first received complaints about the couple in 2013 when the Ahmeds started to carry out works to the rear garden including a number of outbuildings and creating a fish pond. The council said officers had visited the property on numerous occasions over the years in an attempt to resolve these matters but the Ahmeds continued to carry out work.

They were granted planning permission for a pond with strict restrictions on the height of the pond walls but failed to adhere to the conditions. They also dug up a grassed area leading to a brook and replaced it with concrete with the intention of covering this area with artificial grass. Planning permission would have been required to concrete the grass bank.

The council served an enforcement notice in August 2017 requiring the height of the pond walls to be reduced and the concrete area to be removed and replaced with grass reinstating the banks of the brook with native plant species. The notice was ignored and the council started proceedings.

Magistrates found the Ahmeds had deliberately ignored the local authority over a prolonged period of time and had been obstructive to the court and to the council. The harm to the landscape and the visual amenity of the area and the breach of the enforcement notice could not be ignored, the court ruled.

The couple was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £1,140 prosecution costs and a £260 victim surcharge.

Image credit | iStock