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Suspended sentence for Sheeplands owner as planning dispute ends

The owner of Hare Hatch Sheeplands garden centre has been given a two-month prison sentence suspended for two years as the long running planning dispute with Wokingham Borough Council comes to an end.

Rob Scott, owner of the London Road garden centre, had been embroiled in a planning dispute with WBC, which took out an enforcement notice against what it described as ‘unauthorised developments’ there earlier this year.

On June 30, WBC successfully argued that Sheeplands is not a plant nursery and therefore all retail activity outside of the farm shop breaches the injunction - which included plants and gardening products.

In the High Court on Wednesday, July 19 Mr Justice Lavender accepted Scott has now complied with the terms of the injunction issued against him.

Scott accepted he had breached the injunction as some of the changes required by the council were not made until after the original date set by the court.

He added: “Not only is the verdict of the judge a huge relief, it is also a tribute to the effort our employees have put in over the past few weeks.

"Now I can look forward to revitalising the business by working closely with the council in a spirit of cooperation."

WBC councillor Simon Weeks (Con, Finchampstead), executive member for planning and enforcement said:"Officers visited the site again on July 17 and 18, and found that other than the complete removal of demolition debris, Mr Scott and Mr Parry (Gordon Parry, a Sheeplands retailer) had complied.

"Mr Scott and Mr Parry apologised unreservedly to the court for their contempt and were ordered to pay the council’s costs in full totalling £19,477.70."

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