Colworth car garage in trouble over illegal bulldozing

A car garage in Colworth has landed itself in trouble with local authorities after it bulldozed green land without permission.

The Mercedes-Benz garage, which is situated on the A259 at Colworth, began working on an area of green land next to its existing site because it wanted to build additional parking. Planning enforcement officers from Chichester District Council put a stop to the action and has told the business that it needs planning permission to build on the land.

Not only do car dealerships and garages require planning permission if they are to extend their business premises, they will also need to review their motor trade insurance. If a site is expanded to house more vehicles, then it is important that a company checks that its combined motor trade insurance policy still provides adequate cover for the full value of the cars that are stored on site.

According to the Chichester Observer, the manager of the garage, Daniel Stone, did not realise that planning permission was required to bulldoze the land. He said that the business would submit its request "imminently".

He added: “I’ve had a couple of local residents come and speak to me, but we never intended to upset anyone, we were trying to do something good for the local area.”

However, Oving Parish Council chairman Sjoerd Schuyleman said he had his doubts that the car garage did not know it was required, particularly as they had tried to build a car park before, albeit under different owners.

He stated: “I’d be gobsmaked if anyone working there didn’t know what had happened previously. It's happened at least twice before and it’s flagrant, personally it annoys me.”