A landowner and a business owner pleaded guilty to breaching planning regulations when a vehicle sales business was run from a farm without permission.
Ian Evans, who owns Roecliffe Farm in New Packington, pleaded guilty at Leicester Magistrates Court on 9 May 2018 when prosecuted by North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) for carrying on activities (a Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) sales business) required to cease under the terms of an enforcement notice. Ben Evans who owns the HGV business also pleaded guilty to the same offence.
Planning permission to change the use of the farm to allow the HGV business to run from there was refused in January 2005, partly because of concerns over road safety.
A report of a ‘near miss’ incident on the road outside the farm involving an HGV in August 2017 led officers from NWLDC to start an investigation, which showed that the HGV business was being run from the farm.
The case has been transferred to the Crown Court for sentencing.
Speaking about the case, Councillor Alison Smith MBE, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “We’re very pleased that this prosecution has ended with a guilty plea after a lot of hard work from our investigation team.
“Planning regulations are there for a reason – to protect our landscape and our residents from activity and development that is detrimental to the area. In this case, planning permission was refused partly because of highways concerns, then a near miss car accident occurred. Thankfully, this was not serious and was reported to us, which has led to this successful prosecution and will end illegal business activity on the site.
“Simply ignoring planning regulations is not acceptable. We will pursue people who think they can act outside of the law.”