A family from Luton have incurred costs totalling nearly £10,000 after being found guilty of planning offences dating back four years ago.
In 2013 Luton Borough Council served an enforcement notice on Nafeena Beg, Muzzafer Beg, Neelam Beg and Mohammed Nasser of Chester Street in Luton, requiring them to stop the use of an outbuilding at an address in Mill Street as a residential dwelling.
The owners did not comply with the notice and the council prosecuted them. In February of this year they were found guilty and fined a total of £1,957 at Luton Magistrates’ Court. They were also ordered to pay the Council’s legal costs of £5,430.60 and a victim surcharge of £197.
Following their conviction, the family made a joint appeal to the High Court in London claiming that the process that the Council had used to issue the enforcement notice was flawed. However at a hearing on Tuesday this week the Judge found no fault with the way that the council had issued its notice and dismissed the appeal. The family were also ordered to pay the council’s costs of £2,100 that it had incurred in defending the appeal.
Cllr Paul Castleman, portfolio holder for planning, said: “We hope that this prosecution sends a very strong message that we will always take robust enforcement action in cases such as these and seeing this particular one through to the end meant a successful outcome without cost to the public purse”.