Firms fined for illegal car parks

TWO firms have been fined thousands of pounds for setting up illegal car parks in Backwell for people using Bristol International Airport. At a court hearing earlier this month, Flight Car Services Ltd and New Station Developments Limited were each fined

TWO firms have been fined thousands of pounds for setting up illegal car parks in Backwell for people using Bristol International Airport.At a court hearing earlier this month, Flight Car Services Ltd and New Station Developments Limited were each fined thousands of pounds for contravening stop notices.At the beginning of June 2005, North Somerset Council became aware land at Wrington Warren off Brockley Coombe Road, Backwell, was being used to provide car parking for passengers using Bristol International Airport.A hardstanding had been laid on the land and portable buildings had been erected.A temporary stop notice, which required that the parking of vehicles on the land and all works being carried out in connection with the formation of a hardstanding should cease, was served on both firms last June.After the notice was served, Flight Car Services Ltd applied for planning permission for the site, but it was refused by councillors.Three visits to the site by council enforcement officers took place between June 17 and 29 when vehicle movements were seen on the site and an enforcement notice and stop notice were issued.A spokesman for the council said: "Visits by enforcement officers during August showed vehicles entering and parked on the site."Parking continued from August 2005 until the refusal of the planning application in November, although the number of cars reduced."The site was cleared of cars in early November."In December 2005, an appeal was lodged against the council's decision to refuse the application, but this was later withdrawn.At the hearing at North Somerset magistrates court, the directors of each firm entered guilty pleas at the court hearing.For contravening the temporary stop notice, each firm was fined £5,000, and for contravening the stop notice each firm was fined £7,500.They were also ordered to each pay £750 as a contribution towards prosecution costs.North Somerset Council's executive member for strategic planning and transport John Crockford-Hawley said: "We will continue to take action against those people who flout the planning regulations."The magistrates commented that the case had been properly brought by the council and had it not been for the early guilty pleas and extensive mitigation, the fines would have been higher.


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