Three-year caravan fight lands owner £10k fine

Montgomery must pay the money back within six months.

Montgomery must pay the money back within six months. - Credit: Archant

A Yatton landowner must pay more than £20,000 after losing a three-year battle with North Somerset Council over where he put his caravan.

George Montgomery was told to move his mobile home from a field off Stowey Road in January 2013 but refused to comply with the council’s enforcement notice within eight months as ordered.

It prompted a long legal battle and Montgomery was found guilty of failing to adhere to the council’s order after a four-day trial this week.

He was fined £10,000 and must pay the council’s legal costs, which are about £10,500. If he fails to pay within six months, he will be jailed for five months.

Montgomery was told to move the caravan and the hardstanding underneath it because the council believed it risked increasing the chances of flooding and detracted from the area’s rural appearance.

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Judge Michael Longman criticised Montgomery for taking no steps to adhere to the council’s notice and said the 51-year-old had treated the court with disdain and contempt by prolonging proceedings.

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, the council’s deputy leader, said: “The court’s decision sends out a clear message to anyone flouting planning regulations.

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“We will continue to investigate alleged breaches of planning control and prosecute where necessary.”

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