Farmer built hen houses without planning permission

Enniskillen Court House, RMGFH03

Enniskillen Court House, RMGFH03


A Lisbellaw chicken farmer who built four hen houses without adhering to the proper planning conditions has been fined £500. Derek Hall of Droles Road was convicted at Enniskillen Magistrates Court.
A prosecutor outlined that the defendant was granted planning permission for the erection of poultry houses in April 2012, but with a number of conditions including proper vehicle access and visibility. Four hen houses were then built despite Hall not adhering to the planning regulations stated in the initial application. The court heard there were issues in regards to visibility displays and the width of vehicle access. A letter was sent to the defendant in March 2015 from the planning office stating he was in breach of a number of conditions. A further breach of condition notice was sent on June 10, 2015, which the defendant failed to comply with.
Defence solicitor Julie Cooper explained that Hall was a married father of two and the chicken houses were the family’s main source of income. She said Hall purchased the land in 2007 in order to start a business and obtained planning permission in 2012 to erect the poultry houses. She said that her client initially thought adequate vehicle access was in place and admitted there was “some confusion” on his behalf in regards to the planning permission.
Mrs Cooper noted that when the defendant received the breach letter he took immediate action to put the situation right. 
In regards to the issue of access at the farm the defence noted difficulties with a neighbour who was objecting to his plans to solve the issue. She told the court the defendant has since made an appeal for a relaxation of conditions in relation to this matter. The solicitor said the defendant has spent time and money trying to rectify the issues raised by the planning office.
Deputy district judge Peter Prenter asked if the alternative access was agreed would the issue be resolved and the defence replied: “I would hope so.”
The judge said that the big difficulty in this matter was that Hall went ahead and built these hen houses and “put the cart before the horse”. He gave the defendant credit for his guilty plea, his previous good record and for coming to court to explain matters. “The difficulty is you can’t go ahead and build things without proper planning permission,” he remarked. Mr Prenter added that the onus was now on the defendant to get things sorted out.

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