Developer in court for Holbeach play area breach

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A developer has been fined after failing to provide a children’s play area on a housing estate in Holbeach.

Sovereign Homes was given permission to build almost 40 homes off Hallgate, Holbeach, in 2006 on a number of conditions, including providing suitable play equipment.

But more than six years later the play area at the development – which is now known as Oxford Gardens – has still not been put up, prompting South Holland District Council to launch court action.

A spokesman said: “The company failed to comply with this condition within the specified timeframe and despite the council’s repeated requests for it to rectify the matter, the situation remained and remains unchanged.”

A case against Sovereign Homes, owned by Long Sutton-based businessman Howard King, was heard by Spalding Magistrates’ Court last week.

The court was told that the developer had failed to provide the play area in contravention of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The company entered a guilty plea to the charge and was fined £1,200 and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £412.38 costs.

After the court case Mr King said the failure to provide the play area had been an “oversight”.

The company will now be expected to provide suitable play equipment at Oxford Gardens or could be taken back to court if it continues to flout the planning condition.

District council portfolio holder for planning, Coun Roger Gambba-Jones said: “Sovereign Homes was given ample opportunity to comply with this planning condition and it is unfortunate that, as a last resort, we had to bring the matter to court.

“Ultimately this has been about providing a much-needed facility for youngsters and to improve the quality of the environment for residents.”