Success as Council discontinues Planning Enforcement prosecution

Success as Council discontinues Planning Enforcement prosecution


Quentin was instructed on a Direct Public Access basis to represent a Mr WK who was accused of a breach of a planning enforcement notice contrary to s179 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The allegation by Brent Borough Council was that Mr. WK was responsible for the letting of commercial premises in breach of an extant planning enforcement notice. Normally such cases are challenging due to the quasi strict liability nature of the offence and the fact that Local Authorities are keen to extract monies from defendants under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.


Upon instruction, Quentin immediately attainted disclosure of the full case papers and undertook a detailed analysis. He then held an in depth conference with the client where he was able to take detailed instructions upon the evidence, the allegations made by the prosecution and the surrounding circumstances of the case. Following the conference Quentin took the view that there was little public interest in the prosecution of his client due to his client’s minimal culpability and the effect upon his employment of any criminal record.


Quentin therefore set about making a series of detailed representations in respect of the public interest in the continuation of the case against his client. The prosecution initially resisted this but Quentin was persistent. After a protracted period of correspondence between the parties, the prosecution relented and agreed to drop the case against Quentin’s client.


At Court the prosecution formally withdrew the case against Mr. WK and the proceedings against him were formally discontinued. Mr WK who was a man of good character was therefore free to continue his life with nothing recorded against his name.


Quentin Hunt is a Planning Enforcement Barrister who specialises in dealing with planning enforcement cases. He accepts instructions both through solicitors and directly from members of the public under the Direct Access scheme. One of his mantras is that ‘one of the best ways to win a trial is not to have a trial at all’ and he has an excellent record in having matters dropped or discontinued before trial. If you seek assistance in respect of a planning enforcement matter, you may contact Quentin for a no obligation conversation about your case.