£235,000 penalty for man who sold cars on greenbelt

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A Shaw Cross man has been forced to pay more than £235,000 in fines and costs for selling vehicles on greenbelt land.

Norman Hargreaves, who lives in a property in Leeds Road, ignored a planning enforcement notice and continued to store and sell vehicles on the land between January and August 2012.

He was prosecuted by Kirklees Council for offences under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Hargreaves pleaded guilty to the offence at Kirklees Magistrates in February 2012 and he was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court last Monday (June 30) after the confiscation proceedings brought by Kirklees had been concluded.

He was ordered to pay back £223,390 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Hargreaves was ordered to pay this sum within six months with a default sentence of 30 months imprisonment if he fails to do so.

He was also sentenced to a £650 fine for each offence, totalling £4,550 and was ordered to pay £10,000 towards costs within six months.

A default for non-payment of the fine and costs was set at 45 days imprisonment and he was ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge.

Coun Steve Hall, cabinet member for planning and highways, said: “This man was in clear breach of the enforcement notice and did so to run his business for profit without incurring the usual costs of running a business. He had obtained a substantial turnover as a result.

“This was a substantial confiscation order for ignoring an enforcement notice and shows that breaching planning law can be a very expensive business.”