Restaurant owner fined over illegal marquee

Published Tuesday, 18 December 2018

The owner of a Coventry restaurant has been fined for failing to comply with a Planning Enforcement Notice to remove a marquee which has been in use for the last two years.

In 2016, Coventry City Council’s Planning Enforcement Team received complaints from members of the public regarding a large marquee which was attached to The Farmhouse Restaurant on Beechwood Avenue.

The complaints were about its untidy and unattractive appearance in such a prominent position, which could be viewed from all around, including from Hearsall Common.

An investigation by Enforcement Officers established that the owner had not sought planning permission for the marquee and that there were no ‘permitted development rights’, which would enable the marquee to be erected without planning approval, even for a temporary period.

The Enforcement Officers informed Mr Mohammed Basharat (51), the owner, that the marquee was illegal and he was given 28 days to remove it.

A subsequent planning application and appeal were refused, but despite several further warnings, the marquee remained in place.

Mr Basharat was summoned to court on 12 December, where he pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an Enforcement Notice. He was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £1,545 in Council costs, plus a £170 victim surcharge at Coventry Magistrates Court. He also agreed to remove the marquee from the site by 18 January 2019.

The fine is the largest that has ever been imposed following action by Coventry City Council.

Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities, said: “I support the Court’s decision to fine Mr Basharat, who was made fully aware of the consequences of ignoring a Planning Enforcement Notice.

“He was given plenty of time to remove the marquee but continued to ignore decisions by the Planning Committee, Planning Officers and the Planning Inspectorate.

“Good design, consideration for the community nearby and visual amenity are all factors when Planning Committee considers granting planning permission. A marquee that was constructed this way would not have been considered acceptable.”

“We take breaches of planning very seriously and will always act when people have broken the rules.”

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