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Council secures High Court injunction to ensure unlawful woodland buildings are removed

Wiltshire Council has secured a High Court injunction to ensure that two buildings on land known as Quarry Woods at Quarry Hill, Box, are demolished.

Published 11 April 2024
Council secures High Court injunction to ensure unlawful woodland buildings are removed

In February 2023 at Salisbury Magistrates Court, the owner of the woods had been found guilty of the criminal offence of the failure to comply with an enforcement notice ordering him to permanently demolish the buildings and remove the associated materials. He then appealed against the decision in Salisbury Crown Court but lost the appeal in July 2023 and was ordered to pay the council's full costs of £1,700.

The owner has still failed to comply with the enforcement notice, and so the council sought the injunction to ensure the demolition of the buildings. On Friday 5 April 2024, at a hearing at the High Court, the owner was ordered to permanently demolish and remove the buildings by 5 May 2024. He was also ordered not to build any further structures on the site or undertake any residential use and has to pay the council's full costs of £9,880. Failure to comply with the injunction may result in a fine, imprisonment or asset seizure.

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: "This injunction shows just how seriously we take contraventions of planning law here in Wiltshire, and I'd like to pay tribute to the tenacity of our Planning Enforcement team in this case.

"While these buildings may be small, they were constructed without permission in deciduous woodlands with a very high degree of environmental protection. The land is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, within the North Wiltshire Greenbelt, and within a Special Area of Conservation. It is part of an internationally important site for roosting bats and is home to 10% of the UK population of greater horseshoe bats, which is one of our rarest bat species.

"Our message to anyone considering building without planning permission is clear: we will use all of the legal powers available to us and take enforcement action against breaches of planning regulations in Wiltshire."


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