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Buckinghamshire Council reclaims £59k costs from property owner who refused to clear unsightly garden

| July 20, 2021

A picture taken before enforcement took place. (Image supplied by Buckinghamshire Council)

The Planning Enforcement team at Buckinghamshire Council has successfully secured £59k in costs following the clear up of unsightly clutter and removal of an illegal extension in the garden of a property in Whitelands Road, High Wycombe.

Following complaints and concerns from neighbours, two planning enforcement notices were served on the property owners back in 2013.

Despite numerous site visits and regular contact with the owners an old dishwasher, washing machines, gas canisters and an illegal extension remained in the garden.

With the owner taking no action, the Council’s only option was to go down the legal route, hire a specialist contractor to clear the site and recharge the costs to the owner who subsequently refused to pay up. To get this money back, the Council put a charge on his property so they would be reimbursed at the point the property was sold.


A picture taken straight after the clear up has finished. (Image supplied by Buckinghamshire Council)

The property was due to go to auction on Wednesday 14th July 2021 however the amount owed to the Council, a sum of £59,000, has now been repaid by the property owners.

Councillor Gary Hall, Deputy Cabinet Member for Planning Enforcement at Buckinghamshire Council, said: ‘Whilst we always try to find an amicable solution with property owners to remedy breaches of planning control, the council is more than willing to take action of this kind where it is appropriate to do so.

In this case we gave the owners plenty of opportunity to clear the site but they ignored all our attempts. The site is not as clear as it should be, but equally it is not as bad as it was, and we are continually working with the owner to clear the land again at his own expense.

The Council’s firm but fair approach to planning enforcement is producing some positive outcomes which have a real benefit to Buckinghamshire residents.

I hope that this particular situation acts as warning to others who consider flouting planning control and remind them that the Council will use its powers to remedy such breaches.

Anyone suspecting a planning breach in their area is advised by Buckinghamshire Council to contact the planning enforcement team using the Buckinghamshire Council website at https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-enforcement/.

*Source of article : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.

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