Enforcement notice - 17/00020/PPU-01

Important - This communication affects your property

Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Section 172) As Amended by the Planning and Compensation Act 1991

Enforcement notice - 17/00020/PPU-01

Served by: North Northamptonshire Council

To: The land at The Moorings, Elton Road, Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire PE8 6RJ

1. This Notice

is issued by the Council because it appears to them that there has been a breach of planning control, within paragraph (a) of section 171A (1) of the above Act, at the land described below. They consider that it is expedient to issue this notice, having regard to the provisions of the Development Plan and to other material planning considerations. The Annex at the end of the notice and the enclosures to which it refers contains important additional information.

2. Land to which this notice relates

The land at The Moorings, Elton Road, Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire PE8 6RJ (“the Land”), shown edged in red on the attached Site Plan.

3. The matters which appear to constitute a breach of planning control

Without planning permission the construction of a car parking area and trackway, various structures and the installation of five boat moorings in the approximate positions marked [P, X, M1, M2, M3, M4 and M5] on the attached site plan, and the change of use of the Land not in the course of navigation to residential use, the hire of boats and the long term mooring of boats.

4. The reasons for issuing this notice

It appears to the Council that the breaches of planning control, material changes of use and integral operational development (physical moorings, car park and track) were carried out within the last ten years, in terms of residential use, boat hire business use, non-agricultural storage and the long term boat mooring, without planning permission.

It also appears to the Council that the breaches of planning control operational development were carried out within the last 4 years, in terms of the timber shed, decking, wood store adjacent to mooring no.1 and the archway at the entrance to mooring no.5, without planning permission.

The Council considers it expedient having regard to the provisions of the development plans and to all other material considerations to issue an Enforcement Notice pursuant to Sections 172(1) of The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) to remedy the breaches of planning control for the following reasons:

  1. Principle of Development: The Land is located within the open countryside, away from the established settlement of Elton (approx. 500m to the south). The site is considered remote from local services, facilities and public transport (the bus) within Elton (the nearest settlement), which makes the site less sustainable for residential use. Moorings nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 are in residential use and are not considered to meet the exceptions criteria. The case officer notes that the owner of the Land does keep poultry at the site, in connection with the agricultural use, but this is at a low level (approx. 50 birds), so is not considered to be to an extent where permanent residential occupation of the site would be required. Therefore due to the residential use being in the open countryside away from the established settlements, it is considered to be in an unsustainable location in conflict with North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (2016) Policies 11 and 29 and NPPF (2019) paragraph 79.
  2. Visual Amenity: The site is within an open countryside location, which is highly visible from the public realm, of Elton Road (Elton Bridge) and the public footpath that runs alongside the River Nene through the site. Prior to the implementation of the moorings the site was an open agricultural field and river bank. The car parking area, storage of non-agricultural items, various structures (eg archway, shed, wood store, decking), boat(s) for hire, boats for residential use, boats moored long term and associated mooring engineering works (eg boardwalk, platforms, poles, stairs, railings etc) plus related structures and domestic paraphernalia (eg washing lines etc) have a cumulative effect that is incongruous to the countryside setting of the agricultural field and river bank, which cause a detrimental impact on the visual amenity and character of the area. Therefore the uses and operational development are contrary to paragraphs 127 & 170 of the NPPF (2019) and Policy 3 & 8 of the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (2016), which seek to protect the character and amenity of the countryside.
  3. Flood risk: The Land lies mainly within Flood Zone 3 (an area with a high probability of river or sea flooding), with a strip of river bank within Flood Zone 2, so is highly vulnerable to flood risk. It has not been demonstrated to the Local Planning Authority how the boat hire business use and residential use and all the associated structures will affect the flood risk (via a Flood Risk Assessment); how the various uses have met the sequential or exception test; if a suitable Emergency Evacuation Plan is in place for all uses; and suitable supporting on-site residential infrastructure. The Land and access are located in a high-risk flood area which is vulnerable to being cut off, so would be harmful to the amenity of the moorings occupants/users and the quality of the water environment from associated structures and paraphernalia. It is therefore considered that the unauthorised residential use, boat hire use, long-term boat mooring, structures and associated moorings structures are contrary to Policy 5(a & b) of the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (2016) and NPPF (2019) paragraph 155, 158, 159, 160 & 163, which requires development to avoid high and medium flood risk areas.

The Council does not consider that planning permission should be given, because planning conditions could not overcome these material planning objections to the development.

5. What you are required to do

  1. Cease the uses (including Boat hire business and long-term boat mooring) of the Land for the mooring of boats not in the course of navigation and allow the use of the land to revert to its authorised mixed use as agricultural land and/or for incidental mooring in the course of navigation.
  2. Cease the residential use of the section of Land (riverbed) marked by a Yellow boundary on the attached site plan.
  3. Remove all boat mooring structures from the Land (except for the riverbank earthwork moorings in the approximate positions marked M1 and M2 on the attached site plan), including all boardwalks, platforms, poles, railings, steps, entrance archway etc and all associated paraphernalia, and return the Land to its condition prior to the development.
  4. Remove the hard surface track and the hard surface parking area marked with a red ‘P’ on the attached Site Plan (shown in photograph P1, Appendix A), and return the Land to its condition prior to the development.
  5. Remove all structures not related to the agricultural use, including the timber shed, decking and wood store in the approximate position marked by a red ‘X’ on the attached Site Plan and identified as S1 and S2 of photograph M1c (Appendix A), and return the Land to its condition prior to the development.
  6. Cease the use of the Land for the storage of items, other than for the purpose of agriculture.
  7. Remove all resultant debris from steps (i) to (vi) from the Land.

6. Time for compliance

A compliance period of 6 months for completion of all the steps in paragraph 5, from the day on which this notice takes effect.

7. When this notice takes effect 

This notice takes effect on 30th April 2019 unless an appeal is made against it beforehand.

Dated: 1st April 2019

Signed: Roz Johnson, Planning Development Manager

On behalf of: 

North Northamptonshire Council
Thrapston Office
Cedar Drive
Thrapston
Northamptonshire
NN14 4LZ

Telephone: 0300 126 3000
Email: [email protected]

Nominated Officer: Chris Hancox (Principle Planning Enforcement Officer)

Copies of this Notice have been served on:

  • The Owner of The Moorings, Elton Road, Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire PE8 6RJ
  • The Occupier of The Moorings, Elton Road, Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire PE8 6RJ
  • The Occupier of Mooring No.1, The Moorings, Elton Road, Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire PE8 6RJ
  • The Occupier of Mooring No.2, The Moorings, Elton Road, Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire PE8 6RJ
  • The Occupier of Mooring No.3, The Moorings, Elton Road, Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire PE8 6RJ
  • The Occupier of Mooring No.4, The Moorings, Elton Road, Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire PE8 6RJ
  • The Occupier of Mooring No.5, The Moorings, Elton Road, Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire PE8 6RJ
  • Company Secretary of the Great Escapes Boat Hire Co Ltd, Lime Kiln Industrial Estate, Old North Road, Stilton, Peterborough PE7 3SB
  • Company Secretary of the Environment Agency, National Customer Contact Centre, PO Box 544, Rotherham S60 1BY

Annex

Your right of appeal

You can appeal against this notice, but any appeal must be received, or posted in time to be received, by the Secretary of State before the date specified in paragraph 7 of the notice.

You can appeal online or by post using forms available from The Planning Inspectorate. Please read the guidance notes regarding making an appeal.

If you want your appeal to be considered under ground (a) you must pay a fee. The current fee is £924.

What happens if you do not appeal

If you do not appeal against this enforcement notice, it will take effect on the date specified in paragraph 7 of the notice and you must then ensure that the required steps for complying with it, for which you are held responsible, are taken within the period(s) specified in paragraph 6 of the notice. Failure to comply with an enforcement notice which has taken effect can result in prosecution and/or remedial action by the Council.

Appeal costs

You should be aware that the Council has a policy of applying for an award of its costs against appellants whenever appropriate.

Last updated 19 July 2023