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Prosecuted for breaking planning conditions

A Bromley resident developing his property in Park Avenue, has been prosecuted for failing to comply with a Breach of Condition Notice.

Planning conditions were breached on the property development in Park Avenue, Bromley, with seven incidents of unloading off site recorded and fourteen incidents of working outside permitted hours. The property owner and developer, David Francis, pleaded guilty by post at Bromley Magistrates’ Court to two of the counts while the remaining two counts were proved in his absence. He was ordered by the court to pay a total of £6,857. 

“Although planning permission has been granted on appeal as in this case, developers’ and builders’ must be under no illusion that planning conditions still need to be met. Conditions are imposed to balance the needs of the project with that of local residents but if they are flouted, we will take action. Prosecution is always a last resort but we won’t allow personal gain to make residents’ lives more difficult.” said Councillor Peter Dean, Chairman of Development Control Committee. 

The level of fines imposed by the court acknowledged the fact that the notice was breached for financial gain on various dates between July 2016 and March 2017, contrary to Section 187A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. 

A planning enforcement officer received complaints that work on the site was taking place outside permitted hours Monday to Friday 0800 to 1700 hours and 0800 to 1300 hours Saturday, and deliveries that should have been unloaded on site, were being dropped off outside. 

The officer visited the site on several occasions, reminding staff and the site manager that they must adhere to the planning conditions, specifically that no work should take place outside permitted hours and that deliveries must be unloaded on site. Despite assurances each time that the work would not start before 8am, the council warned that a Breach of Condition Notice might be served. 

A notice was served requiring the company owner to fully comply with the construction management plan, including unloading and hours of operation. Again the site manager gave assurances that he would take action and proposed that he would get staff to sign in when starting work, and would email his suppliers regarding deliveries. 

When Mr Francis failed to comply with the Breach of Condition Notice, court proceedings commenced. He was charged with seven incidents of unloading off site and fourteen incidents of working outside permitted hours. 

Anyone wishing to build, extend or demolish a property or develop or change the use of a building or piece of land, may need planning permission and is advised to seek further advice from the council’s website