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Jury Directed to Acquit in Planning Prosecution

Charles Streeten

A jury at Wood Green Crown Court has been directed to acquit a developer of breaching an enforcement notice.

Haringey brought the prosecution for breach of an enforcement dating from 2012 prohibiting the use of a house in North London as self-contained flats.

Following an inspection of the property in 2018 the Council discovered that at least one of the flats contained a kitchen with cooker, a shower, and lavatory facilities.

The Council proceeded to prosecute and to seek confiscation under the proceeds of crime act, which the Council estimated at in excess of £350,000.

The defendant resisted the prosecution on the grounds that there had been no breach of the enforcement notice or, in the alternative, that he had done all that he could reasonably have been expected to do to comply with the enforcement notice.

A trial took place in front of a jury at the Wood Green Crown Court. However, following cross-examination of the Prosecution’s witness the prosecution offered no evidence and the judge directed the jury to acquit the Defendant.

Charles Streeten acted for the successful Defendant instructed by Gill and Co solicitors. Phil Villars of Indigo Planning provided an expert report in support of the Defence.