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Milford Haven: Gardener may appeal over shed on wheels verdict



A MILFORD HAVEN gardener who fitted wheels to his garden shed in a bid to circumvent planning law, has lost his legal battle in the magistrates court – but says he may appeal to the crown court.

James Kershaw of Pill Priory, Lower Priory runs Top Notch Gardening. He tried to claim that, by adding the wheels, the shed was no longer a building and therefore not subject to planning regulations. Last Friday (Jun 14), he was convicted of not complying with an Enforcement Notice issued by Pembrokeshire County Council and fined £700.

Delivering his reserved verdict at Llanelli Magistrates Court, District Judge Chris James found for the Council on all arguments, including that the defendant had added the wheels after the Enforcement Notice’s compliance period. He added he was also satisfied that it remained a building. Judge James said he did not believe the argument advanced on behalf of Kershaw that the shed was intended to be moved around the yard nor that it would be possible to actually do so.

He further found that the Enforcement Notice was valid with the defendant clearly understanding what he was required to do and that the addition of the wheels was an attempt to evade planning authority control. Judge James was delivering his judgement following an earlier hearing at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court.

It was stated then that in 2015 Kershaw had erected the wooden shed on his land at Pill Priory without planning permission. The County Council served Kershaw with an Enforcement Notice requiring the shed to be demolished on the basis of harm to the adjacent Priory ruins – a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade 2 Listed Building. Subsequently, the court heard, Kershaw appealed but this was dismissed by a planning inspector and the Notice upheld. Following a period of non-compliance, the County Council instigated legal proceedings and Kershaw later denied one offence of failure to comply with the Notice.

At the Haverfordwest trial, Kershaw produced pictures of the shed showing that wheels had been added and that therefore it was no longer a building but a chattel placed on land. The trial was then adjourned for skeleton arguments to be filed.

The skeleton argument filed on behalf of the defendant alleged that: the wheels had been added prior to the period of the charge – therefore before February 2018; compliance with the Enforcement Notice (which refers to a building) was impossible as, by February 2018, the shed had already ceased to be a building but was now a chattel placed on land and the Enforcement Notice was a nullity as it referred to a building, or alternatively, that by converting the shed from being a building the defendant had done all he could to comply with the Notice.

The County Council claimed that Kershaw had not added the wheels to the shed until after the charge period. The Authority also contended that in any event the Town and Country Planning Act prohibited the defendant from raising as a defence in criminal proceedings something that he could have (and did) raise by way of appeal and, despite the alterations, the shed as a matter of fact and degree, remained a building.

In mitigation for the defendant, barrister Matthew Graham Paul said that his client had made a deliberate decision to test the legal position; that his actions were not for personal gain and that most people were entitled to a garden shed – he needed it to store his business tools.

Delivering his judgement, Judge James said that there was an element of deliberate defiance by the defendant for his own benefit. The Judge referred to the words of the planning inspector who called the shed a “clumsy and monolithic addition” and a significant visual intrusion which failed to preserve the setting of the Listed building. However, Judge James said he considered the harm caused could be rectified and noted that the defendant had no previous record of failing to comply with planning law.

Kershaw was also ordered to pay a £70 victim’s surcharge and costs of £2,244.04 were awarded to Pembrokeshire County Council.

Speaking to The Pembrokeshire Herald after the case Kershaw said: “I am considering appealing the verdict to Swansea Crown Court as I believe the judge erred in his verdict in this case.”


New Eco Feature For Haverfordwest



Plans have been submitted for a ‘living green wall’ to be planted in the centre of Haverfordwest in a bid to enhance local biodiversity and wildlife.

The green wall would be situated alongside the river opposite Glan-yr-Afon, the town’s library and cultural centre, and planted with 25 species of native plants including ferns, grasses, flowers and wild herbs including basil, sage and clary.

As well as providing an important habitat for pollinators, the wall would also be an attractive natural feature in its own right, says Sara Morris, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Development Plans and Conservation Manager.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to re-introduce nature in the heart of Haverfordwest,” she said. “As with all planting, it will take some time for the plants to grow and flourish but given time it will look very attractive.”

The maintenance of the wall, which is scheduled for installation towards the end of October, would be carried out by a team of volunteers. New benches made from Welsh slate would also be installed to encourage residents and visitors to enjoy spending time in the area.

The green wall is part of the Cleddau Reaches partnership project which forms one of the priorities in the Haverfordwest Regeneration framework.

The Cleddau Reaches partners are Pembrokeshire County Council, the Bridge Meadow Trust, Haverfordwest Town Council, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Haverfordwest Kayak Club.

Pembrokeshire College and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority have also supported the project.

The aim is to improve and enhance the rights of way network in and around Haverfordwest and in particular, around the Western Cleddau, through several different inter-linked schemes.

Grant funding of approximately £250,000 has been provided by the NRW, Haverfordwest Town Council and the Landfill Disposals Tax Community Scheme.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, says the project’s focus on the river follows recognition that for too long, it has been an under-utilised resource despite being one of the town’s key natural assets.

“The Cleddau Reaches project brings together many ideas which the community has put forward over the last 20 years,” he said.

“As well as boosting biodiversity, the project forms part of the wider package of investments we are bringing forward to support Haverfordwest Town Centre.

“This administration is determined to revive the fortunes of the County Town, transforming Haverfordwest Town Centre from a traditional retail centre that’s being left behind into a vibrant leisure destination where residents and visitors alike want to spend their time.”

Some of the work currently taking place as part of the Cleddau Reaches project includes new riverbank paths near the Bridge Meadow with plans to create a new footbridge connecting to the Old Mill Grounds.

Other plans include creating habitats for sand-martins, otters and lampreys upriver, creating a trail linking up with the Town Council’s Priory Saltings project, and installing five interpretation boards along the route describing the flora, fauna and history of the local area.

The green wall planning application is currently registered with Pembrokeshire County Council for determination.

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Homes in Pembrokeshire can get free boilers and insulation



PEMBROKESHIRE HERALD is teaming up with Blackburn based company Euro Insulation, who are working on a Pembrokeshire County Council backed energy scheme called the ECO: Help to Heat programme.

The scheme intends to utilise government funding for the reduction of fuel poverty within the county.

The council says that it has worked for many years to improve homes locally, and is keen for as many households to sign up as possible.

The local authority is working with ECO energy installers.

Funding is only available for private owner occupiers and private rented tenants. Qualification of flexible eligibility in Pembrokeshire will be determined by certain criteria.

Grants are available to a range of households including those with someone aged over 60, with a child under 5, and homes with children in primary or secondary school, or with a pregnant mother.

The Pembrokeshire Herald is letting as many homeowners know as possible about the scheme and has a call centre open to take queries on behalf of Euro Insulation who will be doing the work.

The aim is to reduce C02 emissions and make homes more energy efficient in Wales.

They are with the Welsh Assembly Government to show homeowners how they can get a brand-new boiler, internal wall insulation and room-in-roof insulation

The funding is only available until December.

To be considered for a FREE boiler or INSULATION call our call centre on 01437 70 70 70

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Fishguard: Armed police presence at Fishguard port



ARMED officers from Dyfed-Powys Police were on scene at the port in Fishguard this morning (Sept 18).

Border Force and the RNLI were involved in the operation, which reportedly involved a vessel being escorted into the harbour.

Details of the incident are still unfolding, and the police have been contacted for a statement.


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