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Not too cosy: £3,000 fine for housebuilder that ignored stop notice

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Not too cosy: £3,000 fine for housebuilder that ignored stop notice

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development, Legal, Local Government, Regulation

Not too cosy: 3,000 fine for housebuilder who ignored Not too cosy: 3,000 fine for housebuilder who ignored

A housebuilder that ignored a stop notice issued by Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) has been fined £3,000.

Cosy Homes (York) is currently constructing a detached house at its New Forge development site in Great Ouseburn, for which permission was granted in August 2013.

However, the plans were subject to a number of conditions including one which required that the council receive a report on land contamination before the development started.

In May 2014, HBC received complaints that the house was being constructed without compliance with the conditions attached to the consent.

HBC conducted an investigation and found that the size and design elements of the dwelling did not comply with the planning permission and that the required land contamination report had not been carried out.

The previous use of the land as a forge and agricultural yard meant that there were potential risks to future occupants of the house as well as neighbours, together with risk to controlled waters, property and ecological systems.

HBC warned Cosy Homes that it could consider taking formal enforcement action if all works on site didn’t stop until the contamination report had been submitted and considered.

Despite the warning, work continued so a Temporary Stop Notice was issued in June.

Work on site initially stopped, but following a heavy downpour in early June, the council agreed to a request from the builder to be allowed to carry out emergency works to the roof and surface water drainage system in order to make the house watertight and avoid unnecessary damage, but further work was carried out.

Councillor Michael Harrison said: “The reason why the council attached the planning condition was to ensure that if contamination of the site was found, the risk could be properly understood and mitigated.

“Conditions attached to planning permissions are added for good reason. Where the council attaches pre-commencement conditions, it will enforce the terms of those conditions where it considers harm will be caused by the failure to adhere to them. Developers who blatantly flout the law when served with statutory notices under the planning regime may expect the council to intervene to their cost, as Cosy Homes (York) Limited discovered in this case.”

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