Fined for breach­ing green belt

Coun­cil took legal ac­tion over il­le­gal car park

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Robert Cum­ber robert.cum­ber@trin­i­tymir­

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

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