Buckinghamshire shisha lounge slapped with £2,500 fine for refusing to close

A man who deliberately ignored a Council planning notice in Oxford Road, Denham has found himself with a criminal record and almost £2,500 out of pocket following Council court action.
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Guarav Soin, of 5 Northumberland Walk, Iver, Buckinghamshire, appeared in court on Thursday 19 November and pleaded guilty to three charges of failing to comply with a temporary stop notice relating to use of a restaurant as a Shisha Lounge.

The court heard that between 28 August 2020 and 24 September 2020 Mr Soin was the manager of Soin Lounge in Oxford Road, Denham. Whilst the site has planning permission for use as a restaurant the property was being used as a Shisha lounge for which planning permission had not been granted. The restaurant was the cause a huge number of noise complaints and was significantly impacting nearby residential amenity.

On 28 August 2020, the Council issued a temporary stop notice under the Town and Country Planning Act requiring the unauthorised use to cease immediately . During a visit on 23 September 2020, Council officers witnessed that the use was still occurring in contravention of the notice. Failure to comply with a Council Planning Notice is a criminal offence. At the hearing on 11 November 2020, Mr Soin guilty pleaded to all the charges of non-compliance with a temporary stop notice.

The court handed Mr Soin three fines totalling £1,410 and ordered him to pay a £140 victim surcharge as well as £913 towards Buckinghamshire Council's legal costs. On convicting Mr Soin, Judge DJ Dodds said that “this was disgraceful conduct, the defendant knew what was going on and was sticking two fingers up at the Council.”

Buckinghamshire Council's Portfolio holder for Planning and Enforcement, Cllr Warren Whyte said "This prosecution should serve as a warning to others that we take breaches of planning control very seriously and we will use the full complement of tools available to us to pursue compliance with planning regulations.

"Breaches of planning control such as this have a direct effect on our residents lives which will not be tolerated and we will not hesitate to take legal action against contraveners. This particular site also recently lost its licence to store and sell alcohol due to breaches of the licensing laws.

"The people running this business clearly had no respect for planning or licensing laws and now have to pay the penalty.”