Second fine for man who breached planning enforcement notice at village pub

Released on October 24, 2017

A man has been ordered to pay £4,670 after being found guilty of breaching a planning enforcement notice which required him to stop living in a village pub after he had turned it into a residential property without planning permission.  This was the second time he had been fined for the offence.

Satwinder Sandhu appeared at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 19 October after being prosecuted by South Oxfordshire District Council for a breach of an enforcement notice at The White Lion Public House in Goring Heath.

Magistrates heard how Mr Sandhu had converted the pub into a home without permission.  As a result, he had been served with an enforcement notice in July 2014.  An appeal against the enforcement notice was dismissed at a public hearing in June 2015 and Mr Sandhu was given 12 months by the Planning Inspector to comply with the notice and cease using the property for residential purposes.

In November 2016, Mr Sandhu was prosecuted and fined £1,000 after pleading guilty of failing to comply with the enforcement notice.  He was then given until January 2017 to comply with the notice but again failed to do so.  Officials a South Oxfordshire District Council determined that this continued failure therefore warranted a second prosecution.

In court Magistrates agreed that Mr Sandhu was still using the property for residential purposes and had not taken required steps to find alternative accommodation.  He had therefore breached the enforcement notice.  Given Mr Sandhu’s history of non-compliance, and the fact this was the second prosecution, he was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £2,000 costs and a £170 victim surcharge.

Cllr Felix Bloomfield, Cabinet Member for Development Management and Building Control at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “A village pub can be a key location where residents can come together to socialise and foster a real community spirit.  It’s therefore vital that individuals are not able to just come in and take this important facility away.

“Mr Sandhu changed The White Lion to his home without permission and without any regard to the local community.  The Planning Inspector agreed with us that he had been wrong to do this and now, on two separate occasions, Magistrates have punished his failure to comply with the enforcement notice.

“I hope that Mr Sandhu will now comply with the notice and that further action will not be required.”