Huish had £80,000 worth of vehicles confiscated
Vehicles worth £80,000 have been confiscated from a Brynna car salesman following an extensive investigation and prosecution by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.
Cardiff Crown Court heard how 54-year-old Gwyn Huish deliberately “flouted” planning law when running a car sales storage facility from land close to his home and ignoring consecutive court prosecutions and planning enforcement notices to remove them.
The Court heard that as far back as 1998 Huish’s business had been investigated by the Council’s Planning Department and enforcement team, which had resulted in several prosecutions, appeals and even a High Court challenge – all of which he had lost. But Huish had repeatedly ignored the court decisions and continued to trade.
In 2006 an investigation established that Huish was operating the business from land near his house and due to its unacceptability an enforcement notice was issued with an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate being dismissed. Huish failed to comply with the notice and was successfully prosecuted in 2007.
Consequently Huish changed the location where he stored his vehicles to a piece of land adjacent to his property which is attached to the local golf club.
Further investigations resulted in a second enforcement notice being issued in 2009 requiring Huish to cease the business use on the land. A subsequent appeal and high court challenge was dismissed and Huish was successfully prosecuted again in September 2012.
This is the third conviction secured against Huish again indicating that he had no regard to the planning legislation and the enforcement notices that had been served upon him.
On this occasion Huish, of Bryneithin, Brynna, pleaded guilty to continuing his business from land that he knew he was not allowed to use and was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court.
Judge William Gaskell said Huish showed no remorse for his actions and did not care as long as he made his money.
He added that as the last prosecution did not teach him any lessons, the level of this fine would need to be increased. He was therefore fined £1,500, ordered to pay a contribution to costs of £2250 and a victim surcharge of £20 making a total of £3,370.
As this matter had been ongoing for several years with Huish paying no regard to the prosecutions brought by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council proceedings were commenced under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
At the final hearing it was determined that Huish had a criminal lifestyle and as such a confiscation order of £80,000 was made.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Director of Regeneration and Planning Jane Cook said, “Planning legislation empowers the Council to take action when breaches of planning control have taken place and our residents expect us to use these powers to enforce the planning rules that the majority of the community abide by.
“Court proceedings are not an approach the Council enters into lightly but sometimes they are necessary to ensure the public’s enjoyment of their local area is protected.
“In the case of Huish, we fully support the decision of the Court to confiscate his vehicles as clearly the successful hearings, prosecutions and failed appeals have done nothing to alter his behaviour in flouting planning law.
“I hope the result in Court serves as a clear message to people that we will deal with those who break the law and damage the environment.”