A TRIAL to determine whether a Ventnor businessman is guilty of breaching an Isle of Wight Council enforcement notice – by undertaking development work without planning permission and using the land as a “dumping site” – is underway.

Louis William Tudor Smith, of Marlborough Road, is appearing from today (Monday) at the Isle of Wight Crown Court.

He denies six counts of breaching an Isle of Wight Council planning enforcement notice, issued in April 2019, and is representing himself, as well as Merrie Gardens Ltd and Westover Park Estate Ltd, for which he is a director.

Both businesses own parcels of land within the enforcement notice area.

It is alleged between October 31, 2020, and April 27, 2021, Mr Smith failed to comply with the council's enforcement notice for his land at Merrie Gardens, which would have seen waste removed and land regraded and re-seeded.

Introducing the case, Duncan Milne for the local authority said the land in question is located on Newport Road in Lake, behind the Premier Inn and KFC.

He said planning officer, Paula Debenham, visited the site in February 2019, finding development work requiring planning permission had been carried out and waste building materials were being stored on site.

Mr Milne told members of the jury the land was effectively being used as a “dumping site”, and during a further inspection in May 2019, the council found a change in the levels of the land, and evidence of additional materials being brought in.

Mr Milne described it as evidence of engineering work requiring planning permission which had not been obtained, and an enforcement notice was issued; its purpose being to remedy the breach.

The notice took effect on May 15, 2019, but was put on hold when Mr Smith exercised his right to appeal the decision.

After an independent planning inspector conducted a site visit and dismissed the appeal in September 2020, the countdown resumed.

Mr Milne said Mr Smith's claim that he was a victim of fly tipping, and his argument that the development would create more jobs, were mere deflections made by a man trying to make money and sell without planning permission.

Mr Milne said fly tipping did not stop the land from being regraded, or the hardstanding from being removed.

The trial continues and is estimated to last the rest of the week.