Farmer’s £13k fine for large building

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A landowner and parish councillor has been fined £13,000 after building without planning permission and failing to take remedial action.

When farmer Richard Eccles, who is company secretary of the Brockholes Arms Auction Mart, appeared at Lancaster Magistrates’ Court, it was the culmination of years of dispute with Wyre Council over a farm building.

Eccles, a Claughton on Brock parish councillor, must now reduce the height of the building or remove it.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £2,004 plus a victim surcharge of £200.

Eccles, of Town Croft Farm on New Lane, Claughton on Brock, had been informed that the building required permission and submitted a retrospective planning application to Wyre Council.

This was refused because of the visual impact on the surrounding countryside and the size of the building being unnecessary for its intended purpose.

In March 2011, the council issued an enforcement notice requiring either the height of the building be reduced or it be removed in its entirety.

Appeals to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government were dismissed and Eccles was told to comply with the enforcement notice by August 2012.

He failed to do so and submitted a further planning application and appeal which were both refused.