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Man's £1,900 court bill over Saltney Ferry scrapyard

Published date: 01 October 2012 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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Christopher Bryn Williams, 60, admitted breaching two planning enforcement notices 

THE owner of a former scrapyard described as a blight on the community has ended up with a £1,900 court bill.

Christopher Brian Williams, 60, who attended court in a wheelchair, was warned that if he did not pay then he would go to prison for 21 days.

Williams admitted breaching two planning enforcement notices to remove scrap cars, tyres and building materials off the site in Saltney Ferry and to restore the land.

Judge Niclas Parry, sitting at Mold Crown Court, said Williams had totally disregarded the notices.

“You must understand notices are served for the benefit of society and the community in which you live,” he said.

The prosecution represented those people. “They are entitled to a decent life without a stain on the community in which they live.”

The site was a blight on the local area and the judge said it was clear from the photographs and the papers in the case that Williams had been given every opportunity to adopt a community-spirited attitude to the notices.

“But you ignored them,” he said.

Because of that and the way the community had to suffer, he had to be brought to a court of law, which was a last resort.

Judge Parry said Williams would be fined. It was clear Williams did not have the authority to order the site be cleared and he had reduced the fines and costs because of his limited means.

But he had assets which he could sell and he would therefore give him six months to pay or serve 21 days in default.

The judge told Williams that it may well be that Flintshire Council would now serve new notices on him requiring items to be removed.

“It is a matter for you. I would urge you to deal with them in a different manner,” he said.

“My experience is that the local authority will do their best to co-operate but it takes two to tango.”

Sentence had previously been adjourned for Williams to provide details of his means.

After reading financial reports the judge said it was a case of a man with more assets than income. Williams had a number of vehicles and a property on mortgage.

Brian Treadwell, defending, said the vehicles were old and not worth much. The council had initially regarded them as scrap vehicles.

At an earlier hearing Williams said the cars were not scrap and wire fencing where there were tyres was a chicken run.

Judge Parry said he was glad he did not live there and said the public in that area had to look at the eyesore every day.

Expensive proceedings had been brought which would not, at the end of the day, result in the removal of the vehicles, he said. Williams, of Saltney Terrace, Saltney Ferry, had elected crown court trial.

The prosecution said it had difficulty proving the vehicles were scrap vehicles.

The hearing was told Flintshire Council could, if it thought it appropriate, seek further evidence to show there were scrap vehicles on site, remove the vehicles themselves and bill the defendant or seek an injunction to ensure they were removed.

The notices had required that by last December Williams had ceased using the land at Saltney Terrace for the storage and breaking of scrap vehicles, the supply and fitting of tyres and the sale of secondhand car parts.

Williams was also required to remove a metal clad shed and hard standing by January, and reinstate the land to match the contours of the adjacent land and reseed with grass.

He was prosecuted after an appeal against the notices was rejected.

 

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