Hellesdon Leather boss dramatically drops appeal after stark warning
PUBLISHED: 16:23 23 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:09 24 February 2018
A high profile businessman dramatically withdrew his planned appeal against his conviction for breaching planning laws - after he was warned he could face paying even more in costs.
Hellesdon Leather was found by Norwich Magistrates to have breached an enforcement order imposed by Broadland District Council by allowing its Drayton warehouse to be used as a showroom, in breach of the terms of its lease and the company was ordered to pay more £13,000 in fines and costs in October, last year.
Hellesdon Leather managing director Trevor Milton claimed the company had done nothing wrong, saying the Drayton warehouse had just been used for viewing by customers and all sales only operated from the main showroom on Mile Cross Lane, Norwich.
Mr Milton, who represented himself, planned to appeal against his conviction and sentence at Norwich Crown Court.
However Judge Andrew Shaw warned they could only deal with the legal issue raised by the case and not the planning background and said Mr Milton could find himself liable to pay for a costly crown court hearing, which was estimated to last about three hours on top of magistrates costs.
After further discussions outside court, Jonathan Goodman, prosecuting on behalf of Broadland District Council, told the court Mr Milton had decided not to proceed with his planned appeal for the conviction or sentence.
The family-run furniture company traded from Fifers Lane in Norwich for 30 years before its rent almost doubled and it then moved to units on Mile Cross and Drayton Industrial Estate in 2013.
After the case at the magistrates a Broadland District Council spokesperson said: “The council encourages and supports business development in the district in the right location.”
“We brought a prosecution against Hellesdon Leather for the noncompliance of an enforcement notice, issued three years ago, where the company was asked to cease retail use of its unit.”
“We had received a number of complaints from residents about the retail element of the business.”
They added that local businesses needed to comply with the planning requirements.