A PENSIONER who has battled to remain in her home for many years has been fined again after she was convicted of failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice.
Beryl Larkin, 66, of Ffordd y Felin, Treuddyn, was back at Flintshire Magistrates’ Court in Mold charged with breaching an enforcement notice between September 2001 and June 2010.
The prosecution, Flintshire Council’s planning department, say her mobile home does not have planning consent and that she failed to comply with the order requiring its removal and that of other items on site. She pleaded not guilty and her solicitor Phillip Lloyd Jones put forward a statutory defence that she had done everything she could to comply.
Mrs Larkin, he said, was unable to afford the cost of the work required and while she and her daughter, teacher Helen Larkin, had been in touch with a number of estate agents, they had not found suitable alternative premises.
But she was convicted by magistrates and fined £600 with £215 costs.
Magistrates said there was a long history to the case and Larkin had been aware for a number of years the notice had to be complied with.
However, she had said she did not want to move. She regarded the caravan as her home and that the alternative accommodation she wanted was a smallholding provided by the council, which they said was unrealistic.
They said she should be searching for suitable accommodation for a lady of her age.
The council told the court that the issue remained unresolved.
Magistrates heard that the authority had the power to remove the mobile home and other items itself and then charge the defendant.
Earlier this year Mrs Larkin was fined £1,800 with £500 costs for failing to comply with the notice.
But at an appeal at Mold Crown Court, Judge Niclas Parry said magistrates had failed to give sufficient regard to her means and reduced the fine to £500 with costs of £100.
Mrs Larkin, who has lived in the caravan for 15 years after she spent her adult life caring for her sick brother, says she has nowhere to go.
At one stage she had been given planning consent for her home, but it was restricted – a clause was inserted that it was only temporary while her brother lived there.
After he died she was ordered to leave the site.
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