Row over caravan location sees landowner jailed for second time in two years
PUBLISHED: 06:07 25 January 2018
A man in his 50s has been sent to prison for a second time in just 13 months because of a long-running dispute over his caravan.
George Montgomery was jailed earlier this month by magistrates for continuing to ‘flout’ orders about where his vehicle can be stationed.
A row over where the caravan was situated has been ongoing with North Somerset Council for half a decade – and the problem has worsened in recent months.
The dispute began in January 2013 when Montgomery was sent an enforcement notice by the council telling him to remove the caravan and hardstanding put down on agricultural land, which he owns, off Stowey Road in Yatton.
However, he refused to make the required alterations, prompting legal action to be taken against him.
His refusal to act saw the council in September 2015 apply for a court order in an effort to get Montgomery to comply.
But again it failed to have any effect, landing Montgomery with a 28-day prison sentence in December 2016.
Earlier that same year he had been fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £10,584 in costs when a jury at Bristol Crown Court found him guilty of failing to comply with the initial enforcement notice.
Those sentences however have still failed to encourage Montgomery from moving his caravan – and he has added a second to the same site.
A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “Montgomery has continued to ignore the order and in October last year brought a second static caravan onto the land.
“On January 16, at Bristol Magistrates Court, he was found guilty of failing to comply with the order and given a three-month prison sentence.
“He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,445.”
The council’s deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees said offenders, like Montgomery, will be brought to court and will not be allowed to get away with breaching planning regulations.
The executive member for strategic planning said: “People cannot go round quite deliberately flouting planning regulations and expect to get away with.
“We will always investigate alleged breaches of planning control and take the necessary action.”