CHINGFORD: Long-running planning dispute to continue (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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CHINGFORD: Long-running planning dispute to continue
A COURT case against a husband and wife accused of flouting planning laws has been adjourned for a second time.
Brian and Gillian Gage were set to appear at Thames Magistrates Court today (October 8), accused of breaching an enforcement notice ordering them to reverse the conversion of a set of garages into a bungalow.
But the case was adjourned for the second time in three months after letters serving notice of the court date to Mrs Gage, of Dale View Avenue, Chingford, were not delivered by Waltham Forest Council until last weekend.
Magistrates ruled Mrs Gage needed more time to seek legal advice.
It means the ongoing dispute between Mr Gage and people living in Dale View drag on, with complaints about alleged illegal developments by Mr Gage on land behind their houses since the 1980s.
The businessman is said to have built a larger bungalow and a coach workshop on the land, where it is claimed he also runs a minibus company providing transport to airports, called Beeline Buses.
Members of Dale View Residents Association (DVRA) claim there is a covenant which protects the land from being built on.
Mr Gage today indicated he would plead not guilty and claimed Waltham Forest Council was wrong to charge his wife, a district nurse, over building work he had done.
"This is the prosecution abusing their powers," he said. "My wife is a district nurse and it’s not in the public interest where a district nurse is put in these circumstances."
However, prosecutor Maria Loye replied: "I don’t agree with Mr Gage’s observation. Both are owners of the land involved."
The court case was previously adjourned in July as council letters serving notice of the hearing were said to have been lost in the post.
DVRA secretary Gordon Wilkinson, 81, reacted with anger to the latest delay.
He said: "It's very frustrating. We have written to [Chingford MP] Iain Duncan Smith and hopefully he can help us because it's delay after delay. We've been fighting this for around 30 years."
The next hearing is scheduled for November 12.