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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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There are three PCN notices on our neighbours for illegal business

Resolved Question:

There are three PCN notices on our neighbours for illegal business premises, illegal caravan and illegal use of residential yard and curtelege for business use. The Council held a meeting with their representatives and it appears that the meeting went in the neighbours's favour.

The Council (Cheshire East) is now asking them to monitor vehicle movement (he's a second hand car salesman. We have between 20-30 car movements per day, sometimes as late as 10.30pm when they bring cars in "under cover of dark" and allowing them another 12 weeks in the caravan.

The neighbours have also erected 4 cameras, 3 of which overlook and record our activities on our land. The Council knows about this but doesn't appear to have done anything about it.

This all started July 2013. It is now April 2014. We feel that the Council is not prepared to issue legal proceedings on these illegal activities.

Can you help/advice on our next course of action please?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Why won't they issue proceedings please?
Customer:

Hi Alex

Customer:

We have no idea. They have made site visits, discussed the illegal operations with their legal dept, (took months and months) and then finally held a meeting early April. Derek Wade, enforcement officer, pleasant but vague.

Customer:

We can't understand why they have allowed them another 12 WEEKS to a) monitor their own car movements in and out and b) allowed them to continue living in the caravan. Added to which we now have 4 cameras monitoring our movements on OUR LAND.

Alex Watts : Is there much noise efc?
Customer:

We have approx 30 car movements per day. This is a rural area. They operate a second hand car business in a wooden barn less than 15m from our house. Initially we were friends but relations broke down last July and then we found, despite their assurances, that they did not have planning permission for the business nor the caravan. They own 2 (former brick barns) opposite our farmhouse (we don't farm) which are let out, hence them living in a caravan at the back of the wooden barn. We have constant car movements in and out, handy man working (chain sawing today) and again, this is a quiet rural area of North Cheshire not a business park.

Alex Watts : Have you complained to your local Councillor?
Customer:

No. Should I? This is why I am contacting you ... for advise and suggestions.

Alex Watts : You can do several things.
Alex Watts : complain to your councillor. That is what they are there for.
Alex Watts : They are elected to represent you and that is what they should do.
Alex Watts : Or you could issue proceedings for nuisance.
Alex Watts : This is where there is noise, smells etc and you can seek a court order to stop it.
Alex Watts : You would need to instruct a solicitor to write and ask them to stop or say you will seek a court ordrt.
Alex Watts : If they refuse then you can issue proceedings for nuisance.
Alex Watts : If the judge finds it, the judge can make an order limiting or stopping it.
Alex Watts : If they go on to breach the order then they could find themselves back in court for contempt.
Alex Watts : But try your councillor as this is the free option.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer:

The issue is that they are operating ILLEGALLY. They have no planning permission at all for this business. What started as the use of an agricultural barn (holding straw, etc) was then changed into a storage below and offices above. Windows put in front and back.

Customer:

As they let the two properties they own out (opposite us) they moved into a caravan at the back of the property. NO PLANNING PERMISSION.

Customer:

This is the main issue. As for nuisance .... I can't honestly, hand on heart, say that they are a nuisance. The issue is they are operating illegally and the council seems incapable of stopping it (or unwilling). I have contacted our Councillor, he hopes to call in over the weekend. Have I spent all my money now?

Customer:

Nuisance : there is constant car movements in and out, barn doors opening and closing, electric gates opening and closing. Mechanics, tyre operatives, body repair vehicles in and out. Does that count as nuisance?

Alex Watts :

But you can't enforce planning permission - that is for a local auhority

Alex Watts :

You can't make the local authority take action

Alex Watts :

You can try the Ombudsman

Alex Watts :

They are located at: www.lgo.org.uk

Alex Watts :

But sadly you can't make then take action.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

Customer:

Well if you can't advise us on what action to take, then no. I'll seek legal advice from a solicitor locally.

Alex Watts :

The action to take is to complain to the LGO

Alex Watts :

You can't sadly make the Council take action

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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