Council secures another successful court conviction against unlawful development and TPO tree removal

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Rochford District Council secured convictions at Southend Magistrates Court Yesterday against a development company, Elite Housing Ltd – company Director Mr Graham Eiles, for offences of failing to comply with a Temporary Stop Notice served in October 2019, a Stop Notice served in July 2020 and breaching a Tree Preservation Order. These offences related to the development carried out at the site on Rectory Avenue, Ashingdon. Rochford District Council was represented by Counsel, Ms Alison Lambert.
The offences started in October 2019 and related to development occurring on the site without the benefit of planning permission and the removal of trees subject to a tree preservation order (TPO) which was to the detriment of the residential amenity and character of the area.
Also linked to the stop notice was an enforcement notice served on the land in association with the erection of a stables building. An appeal by Mr Eiles to the planning inspectorate was dismissed in January 2021 and the enforcement notice upheld (subject to variations). Therefore, the stables building is to be demolished.
Multiple residents had provided witness statements to the Courts to support the Council’s case.
The company was sentenced to a fine of £130,000 for breaching the Tree Preservation Order; £60,000 for breaching a Temporary Stop Notice; and £60,000 for breaching a Stop Notice.
Rochford District Council were awarded costs of £4,643.00.
The Portfolio Holder for Planning, Cllr Ian Ward, stated “This conviction sends out a strong message that unlawful development; wilful and deliberate acts that causes harm to our District, residents and disrupts wildlife habitation will not be tolerated.”