Effective enforcement is essential to maintain public confidence in the planning system.
That is the message from Tim Baker MHK, Member of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture with responsibility for Planning and Building Control.
Mr Baker was speaking after a Santon couple was penalised by a court for failing to demolish seven tourist properties, in contravention of an enforcement notice.
Vincent Martin Marlow and Eileen Maria Marlow obtained planning permission to convert a barn to four tourist properties, but instead built seven new properties. They sought approval retrospectively but were turned down.
The enforcement notice, ordering the demolition of the properties, was served in September 2013 and confirmed by a court in 2014. The notice required compliance by September 2015.
The couple, of Quines Hill, Port Soderick, contested the charge of failing to comply with a notice to knock down the properties Ard Na Mara, Santon, but were found guilty.
After considering mitigation, Deputy High Bailiff Jayne Hughes fined Mr and Mrs Marlow £7,000 and £5,000 respectively and ordered them to pay £2,000 costs.
Mr Baker said:
‘Effective enforcement is important as a means of maintaining public confidence in the planning system.
‘The opportunity was given in this instance for the buildings to be demolished without formal prosecution, but the owners failed to remove them, leaving the Department little alternative but to prosecute.’
The couple are still required to comply with the enforcement notice.