A PROPERTY owner who carried out unauthorised development work branded an ‘eyesore’ by neighbours has escaped punishment.
Peter Denton, aged 49, extended Fernhill Cottage, at Hollow Meadows, Sheffield, and excavated the hillside to create a new driveway without planning permission.
He was prosecuted by the Peak District National Park Authority at Sheffield Crown Court for breach of a planning enforcement notice ordering him to restore the hillside.
But although Denton pleaded guilty to the offence, he was given a conditional discharge. No direction was given about whether Denton should comply with the planning enforcement notice.
A request by the national park authority’s counsel for him to pay £6,970 costs was refused. Meanwhile, a retrospective planning application by Denton for his development was rejected by the national park earlier this year.
No changes have been made to the property since.
Neighbour Jeanne Goulding, aged 72, who was among Hollow Meadows residents protesting about Denton’s development, said: “I think this decision is outrageous and most unhelpful of the court.
“The site remains an eyesore. This is a tragic outcome for the Peak District National Park.”
But Denton said after the case: “I pleaded guilty on a technicality. The case was a waste of public money and should not have gone to court.
“I don’t know what is going to happen now because I was not given any direction by the court. I shall wait to hear from the national park authority what their intentions are.”
Denton said he does not plan to make any more changes.
The double amputee added: “I am now seeking legal advice about whether I can take further action against the national park authority on the grounds of disability discrimination.
Peak District National Park Authority’s head of planning, Bob Bryan, said: “The authority will now consider what future action to take. We have pursued the situation as vigorously as possible but the legal system has made allowances for his financial and health situation.”