HOLIDAY park owners have been ordered to pay over £126,000 for planning enforcement breaches dating back to 2017. 

Crake Valley Park, at the southern tip of Coniston Water near Water Yeat, failed to comply with three planning enforcement notices issued by the Lake District Park Authority. 

Owners David and Helen Khan pleaded guilty on behalf of themselves and their company Rural Getaways Ltd to not complying with the notices, which were issued after unlawful developments on their land.

They were taken to Carlisle Crown Court by the national park authority.

The first enforcement notice was issued in November 2017 following the unauthorised installation of two gas tanks and two concrete pads.  Retrospective permission was refused and a subsequent appeal to the Secretary of State was dismissed.  An enforcement notice was served but not complied with. 

A second enforcement notice was served in March 2020 following the unauthorised installation of lighting posts.  Retrospective permission was again sought and refused, and an appeal was dismissed.  The notice was only complied with after the national park authority brought prosecution proceedings. 

A third enforcement notice was served in November 2020 following the construction of an unlawful residential unit.  Retrospective planning permission had again been refused, and an appeal against the enforcement notice was dismissed by the Secretary of State.  However, that enforcement notice was also not complied with and the Lake District National Park Authority commenced court action. 

READ MORE: Lake District is top National Park for planning enforcement

Mr Recorder Shaw stated: “The prosecution comes about as a result of a sequence of enforcement notices issued against the company and its directors, that all of the defendants chose to ignore.” 

He noted that the defendants operated a profitable business. 

He said that the company owned 'an enormous asset mortgage-free.' 

He found that 'these are extremely serious breaches' with 'aggravating elements for the first and third breach in that they continue unabated, so far as the Crown is concerned.'

Mitigations given to the Khans included their involvement in the community, donations to local businesses and charities and that they housed Ukrainians fleeing the war. The judge said that this 'very much mitigated' the fees calculated in the case. 

Passing sentence the court ordered fines and costs totalling £126,200 to be paid - £60,000 of fines and £15,000 of costs for the company, £16,000 of fines and £5,000 of costs for David Khan and £16,000 of fines and £5,000 of costs for Helen Khan.

Responding to the court’s decision Mark Kidd, chairman of the Lake District National Park Authority’s Development Control Committee said: “We are pleased that the court recognised the ongoing nature of the offences and the profits being made from these illegal developments in its sentencing. 

"Hopefully, we will now see the landowners taking prompt action to comply with their enforcement notices as the law requires.

"The Lake District is valued by people across the country for its spectacular landscape and outstanding beauty.  We work hard to ensure that the area is protected from inappropriate developments and we are among the most active authorities nationally when it comes to planning enforcement notices.  The significant fines in this case should serve as a warning to other developers that undertaking unlawful development in the Lake District can have extremely serious consequences.”

This is the Lake District National Park Authority’s fourth successful prosecution for planning offences this year. 

In April a Lake District farmer was landed with a fine and costs of almost £11,000 for an unauthorised holiday let near Threlkeld and a Windermere business received fines for felling protected trees without permission. 

Meanwhile in October a Windermere man was left with fines and costs of almost £5,000 after illegally damaging a protected tree on his land whilst undertaking building works.