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Injunction granted in Coverdale enforcement case

Bainbridge, 18 October, 2018

The High Court has granted an injunction against Andrew Avison of Middlefields Farm in Melmerby, under which he must either reduce the height of an agricultural building or demolish it by 18 January 2019.  

It is the latest judgement in a four-year legal battle, which last November saw Avison pleading guilty at Northallerton Magistrates’ Court for failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice.

In its submission to the High Court, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) said the matter was “straightforward”.  Mr Avison had still failed to comply with the enforcement notice.  The building he had erected in early 2014 without planning permission, which was so big that it had an unacceptable visual impact on the character and appearance of Coverdale, still stood.  It was now “necessary and proportionate” for the Authority to secure an injunction against him to ensure compliance with the notice.  

It was the first time in its 21-year history that the YDNPA had sought such an injunction. If Mr Avison fails to comply with it, he will be in contempt of court – an offence punishable by imprisonment.   

The High Court also ordered him to pay the Authority’s legal costs of £6,078.

YDNPA Member Champion for Development Management, Jim Munday, said:  “We have tried everything to avoid this day.  Quietly and without fuss, after receiving a complaint from a member of the public in 2014, we asked Andrew Avison to reduce the height of the building.  He was given many months to carry out the work.  But time and again he has refused to cooperate, regarding himself as above the rules. He has proved to be particularly difficult in his dealings with the Authority.

“Throughout this unfortunate case, the Authority has acted only to retain the public’s confidence in the planning system.  I hope that Andrew Avison listens to the High Court, so that the case can quickly be brought to a close.”

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