Thursday, August 28, 2014


When I walk into the assembly room on the morning of a sitting day, I never know what awaits me, other than whether I am to be a Chairman (as I usually am). Sometimes one courtroom is down for non-CPS work, such as local authority, TV licences,  RSPCA or suchlike. I am afraid that these sessions can sometimes be very boring, especially the TV cases where 90 per cent of those summonsed do not turn up, so we hear the case in absentia, which makes the whole business rather mechanical.

The other day, in among the Council's failure-to-attend-school cases we were faced with a Fail to Comply with Enforcement Notice matter. It turned out to be a Beds in Sheds case; where a suburban semi had acquired a substantial unauthorised outbuilding that was being rented to recent immigrants for £650 per month. I can't say too much about it, but we imposed a five-figure fine and added on an amount to reflect the gain from illicit use over a couple of years. The defendants were pretty unhappy once they added up the bill, complete with costs and surcharge, and the council added to their woes by serving an assessment for Council tax, backdated two years.

Aerial surveys show these outbuildings to be a large and growing problem. There have been a number of fire-related deaths in these cases, so the council does need to keep a close eye on them.


  1. If a death were to occur in one of these "beds in sheds" cases, could charges be brought against the owners?

  2. Parasites only proser when they get away with it. It is time to hammer people like this- take all their ill gotten gains

  3. Was a report of the publicly available information on the case passed to HMRC?

  4. Here's my take: Birthplace of freedom from over-weaning government becomes such a despotism that entrepreneurial person who provides housing in a housing starved country is punished.

    Let me ask some questions that interest me-
    -was the housing unsafe?
    -was the outbuilding visible from the street or a neighbours yard?
    -were the neighbors annoyed, by the view of the place, or dirt, noise, smells or similar?
    -was 650 a fair price?
    -did the tenants complain? A neighbor?
    -where will the tenants go? Does anybody care?
    -does a breach of this law, no violence, probably no lives endangered, really merit such draconian punishment?

  5. Planning controls are necessary to prevent cities and towns from turning into slums, and those controls must be enforced. In this case substantial profit was made from illegal use of a garden, so a large fine was appropriate.


Posts are pre-moderated. Please bear with us if this takes a little time, but the number of bores and obsessives was getting out of hand, as were the fake comments advertising rubbish.