A local man has today, Friday 14 June 2019, been prosecuted by Solihull Council and ordered to pay almost £90,000 in relation to a planning offence.
Mark Cooper, of Chadwick End, was using Log Home Farm for a caravan storage business. Despite planning permission not being granted for this type of activity and an appeal being dismissed, Mr Cooper continued to use the land to store around 40 caravans.
An enforcement notice was issued in 2013 which he ignored. The caravans were not removed and so he was warned the following month and in August the following year. Eventually, the Council had to issue a further summons for this further breach.
Mr Cooper was convicted at Birmingham Crown Court and fined £1,200. In addition, he was handed a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) which requires him to pay a further £78,984. He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £7,000.
If Mr Cooper fails to pay the confiscation order within three months, he will be sent to prison for two years.
Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Planning & Housing, said:
“This is an excellent result for the Council after many years of blatant and persistent breaches of planning control by Mr Cooper.
“He should not have been storing caravans on the land as he didn’t have the relevant planning permission, yet he did so for many years with no regard to the law.
“The planning system is in place for a reason and hopefully this sends a clear message to people that we will take enforcement action against those who choose to disobey it.”