£12k fine over breach

Preston Magistrates court

Preston Magistrates court

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A Preston firm has been fined £12,000 after a five year row over plant machinery storage firm being operated in an area of picturesque open countryside.

Aqua Training Ltd, based at a farm on Inglewhite Road, Goosnargh, near Preston, was given an enforcement notice five years ago by Preston City councuil after officers discovered plant machinery was being stored there without planning permission.

However, Preston Magistrates’ Court heard, the equipment has not been removed and the 2009 enforcement order not adhered to.

Prosecuting on behalf of Preston City Council, David Haley said the site was in a rural area and has had the impact of “extending inappropriate commercial activities into the open countryside”.

He said a planning application made by the firm had been rejected.

The council believes the scale and nature of the development is detrimental to the appearance and character of the area, in addition to added noise and disturbance from the activities.

No representatives from the company, based at Ashley Hall Farm, were present in court.

The bench allowed the trial to go ahead in its absence.

The court heard the notice ordered the firm to restore the land to its condition before the change of use took place.

It ordered the removal of vehicles, plant, machinery, tools and equipment associated with the business occupation of the land, as well as modular constructed units, trailers, cabins, temporary buildings, mounds of earth and hardcore.

The firm must pay £500 costs and a £120 surcharge.