Published: Tuesday, 11th September 2018
A couple from Swanley have been served a High Court Injunction after Sevenoaks District Council Planning Officers discovered they were preparing a site to be used as an unlawful caravan site.
Mark and Lucy Hilden of Park Lane Farm, Swanley, were served the notice following an emergency hearing at the High Court of Justice in London on Wednesday 5 September. This was after Council officers visited the Green Belt site at 1 Wood Street, Swanley, on Monday 3 September and discovered approximately 1,000 square metres of hardstanding had been laid, as well as preparations for electrical points, a water supply and a cesspit.
The Council had received no planning applications for the development at the site close to Swanley Village.
The High Court Injunction prevents anyone bringing caravans or similar accommodation on to the site as well as any others structures or sewage, water or electricity connections.
If breached, the couple could face a charge of contempt of court, which carries a potential custodial sentence of up to two years as well as, or in addition to, an unlimited fine.
Sevenoaks District Council Portfolio Holder for Planning, Cllr Robert Piper, says: “Once again the work of our officers has resulted in stopping an unauthorised development and helping to protect the District and another example of our determination to protect our Green Belt.
“The Council is committed to working with landowners and ensuring planning law is enforced but as this example shows, we are also not afraid to take those who fail to work with us through the Courts.”
The Council is now speaking with Mr and Mrs Hilden about removing the hardstanding, which would require planning permission.