Landowner jailed for breaching court order

A landowner has been sent to prison for breaching a court order requiring him to comply with an enforcement notice served on him by North Somerset Council.

The enforcement notice served in January 2013 required George Montgomery to remove a caravan and hardstanding from agricultural land he owns at Stowey Road, Yatton. Montgomery failed to do this.

As a result, the council applied for a court order in September 2015 to ensure he did comply with the enforcement notice. Montgomery ignored the order and in May this year he was given a 28-day prison sentence, suspended for a year, at Bristol County Court.

Montgomery removed the caravan but did not comply with the rest of the order and last month the council found he had placed another residential caravan on the hardstanding.

At Bristol Magistrates Court on 8 December he was found guilty of failing to comply with the court order and the suspended 28-day prison sentence was activated. Montgomery was also ordered to pay costs of £961.

In February this year he had been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £10,584 in costs when a jury at Bristol Crown Court found him guilty of failing to comply with the enforcement notice.

“This clearly shows that people cannot go round flouting planning regulations and expect to get away with it,” said Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s deputy leader and executive member for strategic planning. “We will always investigate alleged breaches of planning control and take the necessary action.”