A BUSINESSMAN has thrown in the towel ending a 30 year legal battle with the council.
Guy Jason Evans has been running a car sales and repair business in Wootton Wawen for more than 20 years.
But last year Stratford District Council took action against Mr Evans who was fined £3,000 after he failed to comply with an enforcement notice – stretching back to 1986 – that outlawed the use of his land for a scrap business.
Mr Evans has always maintained he is not a scrap merchant – arguing the car parts he had on his land were necessary for the maintenance of vehicles on site.
But having received a suspended prison sentence for failing to follow certain measures set by the council, Mr Evans has been forced to finally admit defeat.
The 48-year-old was given a six month sentence – suspended until April 2017 – providing he removes all the items stored on his land in connection with what the council deemed to be an “unauthorised scrap business.”
Mr Evans admitted the high legal costs had prompted his decision to stop fighting the case.
He told The Observer: “I have never been in trouble with the law and always tried to keep my business in line but there’s nothing I can do to appeal the decision as I simply don’t have the means.
“I’m extremely upset and devastated I will no longer be able to defend myself and my business. I really have no choice although the judge’s decision will probably ruin me.
“No matter if they were old or new parts, I never wanted to throw anything away and always made the best of what I had. Unfortunately, this lead the council to label me a scrap dealer.”
Despite the outcome, Mr Evans said he would continue to sell cars, repair old cars and store new car parts on his land – with clear for-sale signs.
Stratford District Council have maintained the enforcement measures were necessary.
Coun Chris Williams, chair of the Regulatory Committee, said: “The council does not relish taking legal proceedings against breaches of any law but this action was against a flagrant and persistent breach of the court order.
“This case is a good example of how all other methods of enforcement action had been taken and the owner continued to carry out the unauthorised activities, which were causing significant harm.
“Legal proceedings are usually costly on the public purse which is another reason why this course of action is not taken lightly, but in this case it is pleasing to see that Mr Evans has been ordered to pay the council’s costs as well as receiving the custodial sentence.”