Wokingham barn demolished to protect area of special interest0
Following over four years of action, the owner of a barn built without permission and in a protected part of the countryside has pulled it down and been ordered to pay all the borough council’s costs.
Mr Reuben Reed, of Pinecopse, Nine Mile Ride, Finchampstead, built the barn in an area of Special Landscape and Special Character Farley Hill without planning consent. His application for retrospective permission was refused in June 2009 and he was ordered to demolish the barn at that time. Mr Reed did not demolish the barn and the borough council prosecuted him on January 12, 2012 and he was fined £3,000 (reduced to £2,000 on appeal).
Mr Reed still did not demolish the barn and the borough council applied for an injunction to secure the demolition – the injunction hearing was set for November 28, 2013. Before this hearing, Mr Reed demolished the barn, but he failed to comply with the other terms of the injunction order which the council were seeking, and refused to pay the borough council’s costs for the work involved in applying for the injunction. The council therefore proceeded with the hearing in order to resolve all outstanding issues, including seeding the land, permanent compliance and the issue of costs. Mr Reed was ordered to pay £7,750 within 14 days (which covered the council’s legal costs up to the hearing) and was also ordered to pay the council’s further costs of attending the hearing once these have been assessed.