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A landowner has been fined nearly £9,000 for not following an enforcement notice on a partially built structure in Sapcote – an act which showed an “astonishing lack of respect.”

John Roger Mac of Hinckley Road, Wolvey was issued with an Enforcement Notice by Blaby District Council back in September 2021 for the partial build of a structure at Granitethorpe Quarry, off Leicester Road, Sapcote without planning permission.

Picture: Blaby District Council

Earlier in September 2021 the Council had previously served a ‘Temporary Stop Notice’ on Mr Mac to immediately stop construction after efforts to contact him and to resolve the situation without resorting to formal action had failed.

After investigation by the Council’s Planning Enforcement team, it was determined that the structure would be considered as ‘over development’ for the location, which is in the protected countryside. This was judged to have an “unsympathetic and unduly urbanising effect on the site’s rural character and appearance.”

The Enforcement Notice gave Mr Mac two months to resolve the breach and to: “remove from the land the entirety of the unauthorised structure; including the concrete foundations, blockwork and brickwork and reinstate the Land to its previous land levels with topsoil and reseed with grass seed.”

With the partially built structure not removed by the end of the two-month enforcement period, Blaby District Council prosecuted Mr Mac for this planning breach.

Leicester Magistrates’ Court found Mr Mac guilty of non-compliance of an Enforcement Notice. During sentencing, Magistrates commented that this was a deliberate and intentional act, consistent with Mr Mac’s general pattern of poor historical compliance with planning and environmental matters.

Mr Mac was ordered to pay a total of £8,905.50, which included a fine of £7,500, costs of £1,215.50 as well as a victim surcharge of £190.

Councillor Ben Taylor, Portfolio Holder for Planning Delivery and Enforcement and Corporate Transformation, said: “This case highlighted an astonishing lack of respect of not only the local environment, but also for planning regulations that help to keep the integrity of our landscape.

“We’re pleased with the outcome of the prosecution, and this is our second successful prosecution in as many months. We hope it reiterates our strong message that we will not stand by and watch people flagrantly breach planning rules and let them get away with it.

“I’m proud and grateful of our Planning Enforcement team for their professionalism and effectiveness at stopping unauthorised development, not just here in Sapcote, but across our Blaby District. They will always have my full support.”