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Borough council secures High Court injunction against owner of site in AONB

Maidstone Borough Council has obtained a full injunction “in both prohibitory and mandatory terms” against the owner of a site located in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

The local authority said Langley Beck of Bell Lane, Boxley had previously ignored requirements of an enforcement notice to stop living on the land and the unlawful disposal of waste/ car parts etc and to restore the land.

Maidstone, assisted by Ivy Legal, began legal proceedings to prevent further serious harm to the site in the AONB, a designated Ancient Woodland and covered by a Tree Preservation Order.

The council, which initially obtained a High Court interim injunction earlier this year and has now secured a full injunction, said the Bell Lane site “stretches across a significant area of over 36 acres which has been blighted by the landowner after being littered with commercial and industrial waste for many years leaving the area contaminated as a result of illegal dumping and burning”.

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Maidstone said the prohibitory part of the legal notice meant that all activities and living on the land must stop with immediate effect, with the mandatory element requiring everything having to be removed from the site within six months.

A breach of the High Court Injunction is prosecutable through committal proceedings in the High Court.  

James Bailey, the local authority’s Planning and Development Manager, said: “Maidstone Borough Council has taken this action as it was clear that the unlawful site was expanding and there was a continued threat of further harm to the area.

“The council has tried to resolve the situation with the landowner over many years, but he has chosen to ignore the Enforcement Notice and Deputy Judge of the High Court Clare Ambrose made the decision that the harm to the site could not continue any longer. With the help of Ivy Legal we are pleased that we have managed to secure the full injunction.

“This outcome hopefully sends a clear message that this type of illegal dumping of waste will not be tolerated and is a great example of how when needed, MBC works with its partner agencies to take the strongest possible action against people who repeatedly flout the law.”

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