The owner of a derelict building in Yapton has been found guilty of failing to comply to a council notice which ordered improvements to be made.
In a statement Arun District Council said Mr Harry Quince was successfully prosecuted on Monday at Horsham Magistrates Court.
A spokesman said the notice, served under Section 215 (s215) of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990, followed ‘a lengthy process of communication and failure to meet with conditions set by the council in regard to The Gates, North End Road, Yapton’.
They added that the council’s Planning Compliance Team had first made contact with the owner, Mr Quince, in 2011 and officers spent ‘a considerable amount of time working with him to try and ensure that the necessary work was done voluntarily’.
“When it became clear that no work had been undertaken or planned the owner was issued with a notice under Section 215 on 19 October 2015,” they said.
“The notice required that improvements be made to the property by fully reinstating the roofs and windows to make it wind and watertight and to improve the negative visual impact the building was having on the area.”
Mr Quince pleaded not guilty to the charge on Monday, however, after a short trial he was found guilty and fined £265 with an additional £30 victim surcharge and the council was awarded full costs of £849.99.
Councillor John Charles, cabinet member for planning, said: “This site has been an eyesore for a number of years and anyone that has sat in their car at the Yapton Level Crossing when the barriers are down will be very familiar with it. Council officers will always try to work with owners to improve properties and will only take legal action as a last resort.”
He deemed the case a demonstration of ‘how committed Arun District Council is to ensuring that improvements are carried out to buildings across the district’.
Mr Charles said the approach was something it pledged to continue and that it has resulted in the council ‘successfully encouraged owners to undertake repairs and improvements to both residential and commercial properties’.