Couple prosecuted and fined for building without permission in the Ironbridge Gorge

A couple who built on their property without planning permission have been prosecuted by a council and fined almost £1,000.

Telford & Wrekin Council
Telford & Wrekin Council

Mr Sean Daniel Fitzpatrick and Ms Carlene Camilla Mahli, joint owners of a house at Darby Road, Coalbrookdale, had built a timber gazebo and decking on their property without planning permission.

Their Grade II-listed property sits within the Severn Gorge Conservation Area and Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site and is subject to strict planning regulations in order to preserve its character and appearance, and the character and appearance of its historically significant setting.

A planning enforcement notice was served on July 8 last year advising the couple that they had breached planning control regulations, and ordering them to remove the unauthorised development.

No appeal was made against the planning notice that took effect on August 8, giving the couple until September 8 to remove the gazebo and decking, which they failed to comply with.

Appearing before Telford Magistrates Court yesterday, the couple were found guilty of failing to comply with the planning enforcement notice and were each fined £450. They will face further action if they do not remove the gazebo and decking.

Sending a message

Councillor Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for enforcement, said: “The Ironbridge Gorge is a unique place and one of the first places to be designated as a World Heritage Site in the UK. We have a joint responsibility to preserve its character, and so I am pleased with the outcome of this case.

“The couple opted to ignore the conservation regulations that are there to protect the area and failed to comply with planning laws, despite the risk of prosecution.

“I hope this case sends a clear message that breaches of planning will not be tolerated and action will be taken wherever necessary to conserve our borough.

“I would like to urge residents who wish to develop their property to fully research the planning regulations first and, if in doubt, to check with us to save unnecessary expense and hassle. We are here to offer advice and support.”

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