It is the biggest planning fine in Doncaster within living memory, and one of the biggest ever in the UK.
Nigel Smith, aged 57, of Manor Farm, on Moss Road, Moss, was convicted after pleading guilty to breaching an enforcement notice issued by the Doncaster Council on five occasions during 2011 and 2012.
In 2009 Smith laid hardcore at the farm to form a compound and brought in a residential caravan, later adding portable offices for businesses linked to the site and installing a number of shipping storage containers.
Smith did not have planning permission for any of these activities so the planning authority served an enforcement notice requiring that he cease the activities. He appealed the notice but it was upheld in the council's favour.
When Smith failed to comply with the notice, Doncaster Council took him to court in November 2011 for failing to comply with the notice on two occasions. Smith was fined £2,000. Despite being fined, Smith carried on his operations at Manor Farm in contravention of the enforcement notice.
The council took further legal action which resulted in Smith being sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court. He was convicted of breaching the enforcement notice on five occasions.
The judge, Mr. Recorder Hubbard QC, fined him a quarter of a million pounds with the proviso of a prison sentence of two years if the sum is not paid within 30 days. Smith was also ordered to pay Doncaster Council's costs of £13,575.35 in full.
The judge said it was "difficult to imagine such a flagrant breach in defiance of the enforcement notices”.
The Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, said: "I am pleased with this result. It sends a clear message that Doncaster Council will not tolerate people using land for unlawful and inappropriate purposes. We will always seek to prosecute in these cases."
C/O Roger Milne (Planning Portal)