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Taxi firm fined for planning offences

The owner of a private hire taxi firm has been fined a total of £1,300 and ordered to pay £4880.60 costs following successful prosecutions by New Forest District Council for planning offences.

Karen Cox, owner of Kazcars, was found guilty following a trial at Southampton Magistrates' Court on Friday 29 September 2017 for an offence under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 relating to the breach of an Enforcement Notice. The defendant had previously also pleaded guilty to a further offence relating to the failure to supply information under the same legislation.

The court heard how an investigation was commenced by the Council's planning enforcement team following complaints that indicated a private hire taxi business was being run from the defendant's residential premise. A planning Enforcement Notice was issued to address the issue that the residential premise was being used as both a residential and business premises in breach of planning law. The notice was appealed but was upheld in February 2016. Further complaints from local residents led to further investigation and the Council obtained evidence showing significant vehicle movements from the premises as well as the operation of business activity within the premise which was disruptive to neighbouring properties.

The Council had issued a planning contravention notice to the defendant requiring her to submit relevant documents to the Council which she failed to do.

Cllr Edward Heron, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation, said, "This was a case where our planning enforcement notice was clear and the property should not have been used as a private hire business."

Any concerns relating to the  operation of private hire taxis in the New Forest can be reported to the Licensing department by telephoning 023 8028 5505 or concerns relating to the use of a premises can be reported to the Planning Department



Published: 10 Oct 2017
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