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Planning condition breach costs Coventry woman £852

A COVENTRY woman who secured planning permission for the repair and sale of cars at premises in Lawford Heath has been fined by a magistrate.

Zaima Malik, of Wilson Lane, Coventry, was granted planning permission for the premises at The Acre, Lawford Heath Lane, in May 2017.

A condition of the permission stipulated the layout of the site, with parking spaces for staff, customers and vehicles for sale, together with a dedicated turning space for vehicles. The condition stated the site layout had to be in place within three months of permission being granted.

But in November 2019, Rugby Borough Council received a report the site was operating in breach of the condition and a planning enforcement officer visited the premises and confirmed the breach.

When the council was made aware the site was still breaching the condition in September 2020, a breach of condition notice was served on Ms Malik, requiring the site to comply with the planning condition within 28 days.

A further site visit the following month confirmed the premises was still operating in breach of the condition, leading to Ms Malik being told she faced legal action if the site failed to fully comply by 15 November.

A site visit carried out a day after the deadline found the premises still breaching the condition, despite improvements being made.

Ms Malik was found guilty in her absence of breaching a condition notice, an offence under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The magistrate who considered the case at Coventry Magistrates Court under the single justice procedure issued Ms Malik with a £220 fine and ordered her to pay £598 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the hearing, Cllr Jill Simpson-Vince, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for growth and investment, said: "The conditions attached to planning permissions play an important role in the planning process, giving the council the flexibility to approve planning applications on the condition applicants comply with certain obligations and restrictions included in the permission.

"Our planning enforcement team investigates all reports of planning permission breaches, and try and work with applicants to resolve disputes without resorting to legal action.  

"However, after giving the applicant in this case ample time to comply with the condition, we were left with no alternative but to take the matter to court."

Residents can report suspected breaches of planning permission by calling (01788) 533533 or via the council's website: www.rugby.gov.uk/reportaproblem

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