Published June 5, 2019 at 12:45
A builder who repeatedly ignored Rossendale Council’s calls to restore land behind a former rural pub has been heavily fined.
The Council welcomed Preston Crown Court’s £81,699 fine for Stanley Ainsworth and Ribble Valley Luxury Homes Limited for ignoring a planning enforcement notice.
Ainsworth secured planning permission to convert the former Glory pub in Loveclough but he and his company breached Council planning regulations when he extended the rear boundary into the open countryside without the benefit of planning permission.
The Court heard he left a shipping container and piles of aggregate on the land and made alterations to the ground level .
The Council issued the enforcement notice to Ainsworth, 73 of Eastham House Farm, Mitton, near Clitheroe, which he appealed to the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspector dismissed the appeal and agreed with the Council that the notice should stand but Ainsworth still ignored the notice.
He was then prosecuted and the builder and his company were found guilty by the Jury on three counts each for failure to comply with the notice.
Ainsworth was fined a total of £45,000 and also told to pay the prosecution costs of £36,669.37. The total amount to be paid is £81,669.37. The Company received no separate sentence.
Commenting after the sentencing, Councillor Adrian Lythgoe, Portfolio Holder for Operations and Development Control, said:
“I am really pleased with the outcome of this case. This was a flagrant breach of planning rules made worse by Ainsworth and his company continually ignoring our enforcement notices.
“I hope this serves as a firm warning to anyone who thinks they are above the law. We will not hesitate to take action when rules designed to protect our countryside are broken.”
Cath Burns, Director of Economic Development, said:
“Our legal team and planning enforcement team worked really hard to secure this result. I hope it sends a strong message to others who think they can get away with breaching planning regulations.”