‘Clear message’ from judge on planning rules

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A LOCAL authority said yesterday it will be seeking an order to have a site where a barn in Blubberhouses was built without planning permission restored to its previous condition.

Last week a High Court Judge ordered the owners of a barn built without planning permission to demolish it. The landowners, Geoffrey and Anne Crossland, built the barn on Meagill Lane in Blubberhouses despite Harrogate Borough Council saying it had repeatedly warned them they did not have planning permission.

The case was heard in the High Court and the judgment marked the conclusion of long running dispute between the council’s planning team and the landowners of the site who have repeatedly sought to establish, without success, that planning permission existed or that it should be granted in respect of a barn.

Coun Alan Skidmore, the council’s cabinet member for planning, transport and economic development, said yesterday: “The judge has sent a clear message to all, that playing the planning system will not be tolerated.”

The action was taken by the council when it became aware in March 2011 that work had begun building a barn at Meagill Lane in the same location as was covered by earlier refusals for planning permission and also by an enforcement notice in respect of unlawful development by the landowner.

“The landowners refused to comply with the council’s request to cease construction and knock down what they had built, added Coun Skidmore.

“The council therefore issued legal proceedings for an injunction requiring the demolition of the barn.”

“It is now a shame that, because the owners didn’t listen, they are now faced with costs, not just for the demolition but also for our legal costs which we will be seeking to recover,” Coun Skidmore added.

The local authority will also be seeking an order that the site be restored to its previous condition by November 23 next year.