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Man pleads guilty over campervan

Bainbridge, 15 May, 2018

York Magistrates’ Court has fined a 49 year old man for not complying with a planning enforcement notice relating to the unauthorised siting of a campervan used for accommodation at Storrs Common near Ingleton.

John Stevens pleaded guilty at a hearing at the court on Monday (15 May).  He was fined £250 and ordered to pay £750 towards the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s costs, as well as a £30 surcharge. The sums are to be paid in £20 weekly instalments; the first payment is due in 13 days’ time.  

Police arrested Mr Stevens on Saturday morning, a warrant having been issued for previous non-attendance at court.  He was held over the weekend in police custody.

The campervan remains on Storrs Common and it is up to Mr Stevens to observe the enforcement notice and move it – or face further legal action.

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Member Champion for Development Management, Robert Heseltine, who is also a Craven District councillor, said:

“John Stevens plonked his caravan in a highly visible and isolated spot outside Ingleton in May 2015 without thought for others, and made no attempt to seek planning permission.  Unsurprisingly, members of the public complained.   We acted on these complaints by taking enforcement action, but not before giving Mr Stevens plenty of time to find alternative accommodation.  He repeatedly declined help from Craven District Council housing services.

“When enforcement notices requiring Mr Stevens to remove the caravan were finally issued, in October 2015 and January 2016, he ignored them.  We had no option left but to take the issue to the courts.  

“It cannot be right for one person to act outside the rules that everyone else has to abide by.  Isolated homes in the countryside are permitted, but only in special circumstances, such as when someone needs to live near their place of work.”

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