Published: Tuesday, 17th September 2019
A West Kingsdown man who built on the Green Belt without permission has been prosecuted after Sevenoaks District Council brought legal action.
Neil Hayes aged 54 pleaded guilty at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court on Friday 13 September 2019 to refusing to remove mobile homes, buildings and machinery from Hayes Farm, Fawkham Road, West Kingsdown.
Mr Hayes began to develop and live at the Hayes Farm site in April 2015 in connection with his business. He brought mobile homes, shipping containers, vehicles, a forklift truck, a JCB and septic tanks on to the protected site and installed an access track and hardstanding without planning permission.
Sevenoaks District Council served an Enforcement Notice in November 2015, which Mr Hayes appealed. This was rejected by the Planning Inspectorate.
After Mr Hayes ignored the Enforcement Notice and continued to use the land unlawfully, he was brought to Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court by Sevenoaks District Council.
Mr Hayes was ordered to stop living on the site and to remove all mobile homes and machinery and to demolish the outbuilding buildings.
He was given a fine of £1,400, £300 in costs and a £140 victim surcharge, totalling £1,840.
Cabinet Member for ‘Cleaner and Greener’, Cllr Margot McArthur, says: “The prosecution of Mr Hayes is a clear message that we will not tolerate illegal development, especially in our much cherished Green Belt.
“Not only was this an illegal development, it was an eyesore for local neighbours. We’ve promised our residents we will protect the environment and if necessary we will take all action necessary, including through the courts.”