Michael Rudd has successfully prosecuted the owner of an unauthorised scrapyard for breaches of an enforcement notice served under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, and subsequently secured a substantial confiscation order.
Andrew Taff, the owner of the scrapyard near Hatherton, Cannock, was convicted at Stafford Crown Court in June 2017 on a three count indictment alleging breaches of an enforcement notice requiring cessation of the unauthorised use of the land by March 2013. Despite attempted negotiations the owner of the land did not comply with the enforcement notice and the prosecution was brought to secure compliance.
Following conviction of Mr Taff the Court was requested to commence confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. After what was a highly complex investigation HHJ Chambers siting at Birmingham Crown Court made a confiscation order requiring the owner of the land to pay £150,000 within 3 months, with a custodial sentence in default of 18 months imposed in the event of non-payment.
In sentencing the owner of the land to a fine of £24,000 with 8 months to pay and a default custodial sentence of 12 months HHJ Chambers described the unauthorised use of the land as “like a dramatic scene from a Steinbeck novel”. The owner of the land was also ordered to pay the Council’s costs of £28, 280.00.
Michael Rudd was instructed by David Campbell, Litigation Solicitor with South Staffordshire Council.