Stuart Jessop acts for London Borough in case where near-maximum fine for breach of Planning Enforcement notice imposed

March 17, 2017

Stuart Jessop represented a London borough in its prosecution of a property company under section 179(2) Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for failure to comply with an enforcement notice. This was the third prosecution of the company under the same enforcement notice. The defendant had argued for full credit for its pleas and that the breach had not resulted in any financial benefit. The District Judge rejected this holding that the breach had clearly been commercially driven even if there was no actual financial benefit. She agreed with the prosecution that, as the offending took place largely before the date when the magistrates’ court’s powers were increased to enable unlimited fines, this case therefore attracted a maximum fine of £20,000.

The District Judge declined to commit the case to the crown court. The company were fined £15,000 and ordered to pay the Council’s costs in full.