Fined for breaching green belt
Council took legal action over illegal car park
THE trust that runs a school in Hayes has been ordered to remove a car park which was built on green belt land without permission.
The Nanaksar Trust, which funds Guru Nanak Sikh Academy, was told to restore the land after being successfully prosecuted by Hillingdon Council.
The council said it took legal action after the trust failed to comply with a planning enforcement notice requiring it to remove the bitumensurfaced car park from a former football pitch beside Minet Park, off Springfield Road, in Hayes.
Sukhdev Singh Nahal, a director and company secretary of the school, and Amarjit Singh, a member of the school, both admitted failing to comply with the order, the council said.
They appeared at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on May 17, where they were each fined £400 and ordered to pay £238 costs and a victim surcharge of £40.
The council said although the pair had pleaded guilty, they told the court they failed to act because they thought their planning advisor had appealed the enforcement notice.
The pair also assured the court they had employed a contractor to remove the car park within two weeks, the council added.
Councillor Keith Burrows, the council’s planning chief, said: “This case illustrates how fiercely Hillingdon Council protects its green belt land. We simply will not stand for illegal incursions into the borough’s green spaces and playing pitches.”
The makeshift car park was built to ease ‘traffic chaos’ for parents and pupils.
The school said the car park was not connected to the school or the trust, and advised us to contact the Guru Nanak Garib Niwaj Education Society.
Jaspal Singh, manager of the society, which runs a temple on the site, said it had allowed parents to use the land free of charge to help address the shortage of parking spaces.
He said parents at the school had footed the £50,000 bill for building the car park and were also paying for its removal, which he estimated would cost £15,000-£20,000.
“There’s no fight with the council. We accepted the court’s decision and the car park will be cleared by the end of next week,” he said on Thursday June 9.
“We’re sorry we couldn’t provide this facility. The parents were just using a small 60mx15m strip of land, where players using the football pitch in the past would park.”
The society, which bought the land in 2015, failed to seek permission before converting into a car park.
The school was served with an enforcement notice in October 2015, giving it until the end of January this year to return the land to its original condition.
The society had said that heavy traffic and the number of HGVs parking in the area made it difficult for parents to find a place to stop and drop their children off.
A parent whose children attend the school previously said it was a ‘nightmare’ trying to drop them off there, with lorries often parked on both sides of the road.
n ORDER: The now demolished car park