Developers fined £10,000 after unauthorised work started on Yate site

April 27 2015

A BUILDING company working on a proposed housing site in Yate has been fined £10,000 for breaching planning rules.

A BUILDING company working on a proposed housing site in Yate has been fined £10,000 for breaching planning rules.
Prosecutions were brought against GMT Developments (UK) Ltd and its site manager, Russell Davies, by South Gloucestershire Council for failing to comply with a temporary stop notice that had been served on the land in North Road.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to the charges when they were heard at North Avon Magistrates Court in Yate.
As well as the fine, the company was ordered to pay the council’s costs of £1,395 and a £120 victim surcharge. Davies was fined £500 and ordered to pay a £50 victim surcharge.
The court hearing followed the issuing of the temporary stop notice and a subsequent court injunction against GMT Developments, which did not have planning permission to carry out work on the site. An application for the homes was in outline form only.
But the council received complaints in March about work taking place there and on investigation found building materials and a portable building on site.
Work had started on foundations, material to protect tree roots had been removed and a number of trees covered by preservation orders had not been protected.
An immediate temporary stop notice was issued and the case pursued to secure an injunction from Bristol County Court - the strongest available planning enforcement.
The council was granted an interim injunction by the court at the first hearing and a full injunction at a further hearing, which required work to stop. GMT was also ordered to pay the council £3,500 to cover legal costs.  
The prosecutions came after enforcement officers discovered that work had continued in breach of the temporary stop notice for several days after being issued.
A council spokesman said the fine was one of the highest issued for non-compliance with a South Gloucestershire notice in the past ten years. He said it was also only the second time a penalty of that scale had been used nationally in the past six months.