Monday 22 April 2024
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Car park in Nottingham illegally used to sell cars

A council is to consider whether it will take enforcement action after a car park was illegally used to sell cars.

The car park, in Eastham Road, Arnold, was referred to Gedling Borough Council’s environmental health team in June 2022 following concerns of “noise nuisance”.

It was found there was a network of people alleged to be selling cars from the car park, with people viewing and buying the vehicles from the site.

The authority also received reports of people “revving them on the car park” and then driving them up and down the road.

Eastham Road Arnold

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Documents reveal photographs and registration logs showed cars were being prepared, photographed and sold from the car park.

Paperwork was also exchanged on-site and on a nearby road, while there were online adverts for the vehicles showing the land was being used as a business.

Council officers said business activity was noted at “various times of day”, including late at night.

Council papers say the authority wrote to those involved advising the business use was unauthorised and should cease immediately.

This is because no formal planning consent to use the land as a business has been sought or approved.

The council then went on to receive more than 20 complaints via email about people viewing, testing and selling the vehicles.

Planning contravention notices were served against the people believed to be responsible in July, before the activity “slowed down” in early August.

However, in late August and September, more than 30 emails were sent to the authority showing the activity was still ongoing.

An unannounced visit on September 28 found evidence of the business operating before one person involved admitted to the activity a day later.

Council officers then conducted numerous visits throughout October to assess whether the business was still operating.

A concerned resident contacted the authority to say they had witnessed the sale of a vehicle on October 17, between 10pm and 11pm.

And they told the authority they had witnessed eight vehicles being test driven, prepared, viewed and sold between October 1 and November 9.

The authority then wrote to people involved on November 7 and November 9 to say evidence showed “unauthorised activity” was still ongoing and that enforcement action would be taken.

Now the council’s planning committee is to decide whether action will be taken.

Officers are recommending a planning enforcement notice should be issued and, if it is not complied with, legal action could be taken in the courts.

In documents, the council said: “A breach of planning control has been identified which is detrimental to the character of the area, amenities of nearby occupiers of other residential properties and highway safety.

“Despite having been advised numerous times to cease the use of the site for the vehicle sales business, they have failed to do so.

“Vehicles [are] still being brought to the site for preparation and sale. The breach conflicts with both national and local policies.

“Failure of the council to act in these circumstances may leave local residents with a business which adversely affects their wellbeing and is detrimental to the character and amenity of the area.

“The council should now commence enforcement action without delay by issuing a planning enforcement notice requiring the cessation of the unauthorised business and removal of all associated vehicles.

“If the notice is not complied with proceedings should be taken in the courts if necessary.”

Members of the authority’s planning committee will discuss the enforcement action on November 30.

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