Hedge destruction leads to further fines for mobile home site owner
Wednesday, 11 March 2020
We've again taken to court the owners of an illegal mobile home site in Caddington, for destroying green belt hedgerow.
Just days after being ordered to pay £13,499 in costs, fines and a victim surcharge for operating the site without a licence, Mayphil Park Sales Ltd was further fined £500 with costs and a victim surcharge of £929.
Luton Magistrates' Court heard that on September 11, 2019 the planning enforcement team received a complaint that a hedgerow along the boundary of the Hillcrest Mobile Home Park, Manor Road, Caddington was being removed.
Enforcement officers visited later that day and confirmed that a 70-metre section of protected rural hedgerow had been removed, leaving the stumps of trees and disturbed ground where the hedgerow had been grubbed out.
The hedgerow was in the green belt and is shown on the 1798 enclosure map for Caddington and possibly dated back to medieval times.
It was protected by law by reason of its historic importance and our permission was required to remove it. No permission had been sought in this case and if an application had been made, it would have been refused because of the hedgerow's historic importance.
Mayphil Park Sales Ltd owns the land where the hedgerow was and was responsible for its removal. It will now be served a Hedgerow Replacement Notice, requiring a suitable hedgerow is re-planted in the location.
Councillor Kevin Collins, our Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration said:
Our ancient hedgerows are part of the heritage of our predominantly rural patch.
We will always act swiftly and decisively to protect them and bring to account anyone who damages them.