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Borough council wins costs after successful planning enforcement appeal hearing
04 July 2019
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Wokingham Borough Council has won appeal costs from a resident who had been caught letting a barn and stables he had converted into a house, despite not having the right planning permission.


The building, owned by Mr Mark Flaherty of Coppid Hill House, Barkham Road, was granted planning permission in 2011 for use as an equestrian barn and stables, but an investigation in 2018 by the council’s planning enforcement team found it being let to tenants.  


A planning enforcement notice was served in November 2018 requiring that the building revert back to equestrian use and a subsequent appeal, submitted by the resident, was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate on 21 June this year.


Councillor Wayne Smith, executive member for planning and enforcement at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “Our planning enforcement team here at the council are vigilant and thorough when it comes to investigating and upholding planning approvals on buildings across the borough. 


“This is an example of a resident who has made a number of attempts to obtain additional housing on this land and to alter the use of the building for which he was originally granted planning permission. By going ahead without permission means he is in breach of the planning consent and we imposed a planning enforcement notice on him to return the building to its original use.”


After losing his appeal, the Planning Inspectorate has ordered Mr Flaherty to remove all internal fittings and fixtures and return the building back to an equestrian barn within three months of the appeal findings.  He has also been ordered to pay the council’s appeal costs which have yet to be confirmed.


Cllr Smith said: “We will continue to make rigorous checks on planning permissions granted across the borough to ensure regulations are met and upheld.”


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