Storage boss fined for 'eyesore' hangar

A BUSINESSWOMAN ordered to pay more than £1,000 for putting up a giant storage shed in her garden has defended her actions.Yvonne Miller, managing director of storage firm Business Reply UK Ltd, said the building of the enormous £75,000 hangar in a Suffolk village enabled her company to hold on to one of its biggest clients and prevented job losses.

A BUSINESSWOMAN ordered to pay more than £1,000 for putting up a giant storage shed in her garden has defended her actions.

Yvonne Miller, managing director of storage firm Business Reply UK Ltd, said the building of the enormous £75,000 hangar in a Suffolk village enabled her company to hold on to one of its biggest clients and prevented job losses.

But the hangar was dubbed an “eyesore” and magistrates yesterday ordered her to pay more than £1,300 for her actions.

Council bosses, who brought the prosecution, welcomed the fine and claimed Ms Miller had “flouted” planning laws.


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But Ms Miller, who started the Sudbury company from scratch 20 years ago, said she only erected the unit after the company was given just six weeks to meet an order from one of its biggest clients.

“There was not enough time for planning permission but we were told by council officials that there wouldn't be any problem,” said Ms Miller, who lives in Humble Green , near Sudbury.

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“I wouldn't have spent £75,000 if I had known that I would have to tear it down and there would be so much uproar.

“I either had to build it and take the order or risk losing the client and laying off several of my staff - what would you do? I am proud of what we have achieved at the company but this has soured everything.”

The furore over the 450sq metre hangar began two-and-a-half years ago after Ms Miller built the unit and then had her planning permission turned down.

An enforcement notice - demanding the removal of the hangar - was slapped on Ms Miller by Babergh District Council but she appealed against the decision.

However, the inspector ruled that both the hangar and the slab it stood on were inappropriate for a rural setting and should be removed.

The council then prosecuted when officers found the building still standing six months later - but Miss Miller said she had been let down by the firm responsible for removing it due to “unforeseeable circumstances”.

Although the unit has now been dismantled, the concrete slab base still remains and Miss Miller, who was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £320 costs, hopes to turn the space into a tennis court.

John Winders, Babergh's principal development control officer, said: “This huge building flew in the face of both local and national planning policies relating to the location of commercial properties and the preservation of the countryside.

“We believe that this is yet another example to those in the Babergh district who think they can get away with flouting planning rules designed to protect our precious countryside.”

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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