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Judges back £60k enforcement fine against Lancashire farmer

The farmer unlawfully used land in Lancashire to store 67 caravans and has been ordered to pay more than £60,000, after Appeal Court judges ruled that he was guilty of a 'deliberate' and 'flagrant' breach of planning enforcement notices.

Mr Edwards owned fields near his home and used the land for the unauthorised storage of caravans.  In February 2016 he was fined £3,500 at the Crown Court in February 2016 but was also hit with a £59,974 confiscation order.

Edwards applied for retrospective planning permission, but this was refused.  Despite receiving enforcement notices, requiring him to remove the caravans, his unlawful use of the land continued.

Edwards challenged the fine and the confiscation order at the Court of Appeal on January 24th, claiming both were excessive.

However Mr Justice Soole described his appeal against the fine as "self-evidently hopeless".

He was guilty of a "deliberate, flagrant and continuing breach of enforcement notices", he added.

The judge, sitting with Lady Justice Sharp and Judge Wendy Joseph QC, ruled the confiscation order was "properly made for a proper amount” and the order "reflected the consequences of his prolonged illegal activity", she concluded.

So landowners BEWARE!!

Jill Scrivener