A Westgate man has been fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £75 in costs after pleading guilty to failing to comply with an enforcement notice.
Thanet Council's Planning Committee originally refused planning consent in 2004 for the installation of a shopfront and roller shutters at a property in St. Mildred's Road, which had been installed without planning consent, within the Westgate Conservation Area. They authorised the issuing of an enforcement notice requiring the removal of the shopfront and the roller shutters.
The owner, Jaspal Sohal of Minster Road, Westgate, appealed against this decision, but lost. Lengthy discussions then took place regarding a suitable replacement, but no agreement could be reached. The Council then began legal proceedings against the owner.
Yesterday morning (Monday 11th September), he pleaded guilty at Thanet Magistrates and fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £75 costs to the Council. Following the hearing, the owner has arranged for a new application to be submitted and the required suitable shopfront will be fitted over the Christmas period, providing it receives planning approval.
Cllr. John Kirby, Cabinet Member for Development Services, said:
"This case highlights how determined this Council is to take action on planning matters when we need to and sends out a strong message to property owners. Once we issue an enforcement notice, we will pursue it, no matter how long it takes, to ensure that we get to a satisfactory conclusion. As this case shows, that could mean taking legal action.
Equally, it could mean working with property owners. In this case, we are now at the stage where the action that the Council wanted is finally happening. It's just a shame that it had to go to court to get to this result."