A High Court hearing has been adjourned until 4 July to give the Surrey farmer who built a now-demolished illegal mock Tudor home at a green belt location more time to remove a patio, garden wall, steps and pond, as ‘to fully comply with the Court Order [Mr Fidler] must demolish all the unlawful structures completely and return the land to its former state’.
Reigate and Banstead, BC writes:
A High Court hearing to decide whether Mr Fidler has complied with the court order requiring him to demolish the unlawful house and structures at Honeycrock Farm has been adjourned to 4 July 2016.
A High Court hearing to decide whether Mr Fidler has complied with the court order requiring him to demolish the unlawful house and other unauthorised structures at Honeycrock Farm, has been adjourned until Monday 4 July 2016.
The Judge, Mr Justice Dove, agreed to the Council’s application to adjourn his judgment for a further four weeks to give Mr Fidler the opportunity to fully comply with the Order.
A spokesman for the Council said: ‘At our recent site visits, we were pleased to see that demolition of the house and conservatory are well advanced. However, the patio, garden wall, steps and pond, which are also subject to the Court Order and enforcement notices, remain. This means Mr Fidler remains in contempt of court. To allow Mr Fidler a little extra time to fully comply with the Court Order, we applied to the Court to request a four week adjournment for him to complete the work.
‘For Mr Fidler to fully comply with the Court Order he must demolish all the unlawful structures completely and return the land to its former state.
‘We hope that Mr Fidler heeds the Judge’s comments and removes the remainder of the unlawful structures and restores the land as described by the enforcement notices. This must be done before the 4 July, which Mr Fidler has agreed to do.
‘We have always only sought full compliance with our enforcement notices. If we had failed to act in this case, it would give others free reign to build in the Green Belt without fear of recrimination.
‘We are committed to protecting the borough’s character and will take firm action against anyone who deliberately flouts planning rules.
‘Mr Fidler previously admitted that he deliberately set out to circumvent planning rules. Also, he had another home on the site when he began building the unlawful one.
‘We have given Mr Fidler advice about his the options for providing alternative accommodation in existing lawful buildings on his site, which he has so far not pursued.’
The Council will make a site visit prior to 4 July to check that Mr Fidler has complied with the Court Order and outstanding enforcement notices and provide an update to the High Court. If they have not been complied with then the court hearing will proceed and the Judge, Mr Justice Dove, will decide the next course of action.
At a High Court hearing in November 2015 Mr Fidler was given a three month prison sentence, suspended until 6 June 2016, to comply with a High Court Injunction Order to demolish the unlawful house and other unlawful structures and return the land to its former state, as per the Council’s original enforcement notices.
Mr Fidler must return the area of the house and conservatory to tarmac chippings and the patio, garden wall, steps and pond areas to grass.