Enforcement - Cinderford photo

Council orders demolition of property in Cinderford

Forest of Dean District Council has today commenced action to demolish and remove a building in Cinderford that was erected in 2014 without planning permission.

A Forest of Dean District Council spokesperson said:

“As a Council it is our duty to ensure that planning and development proposals comply with the law and bring benefit to the local area, whilst also safeguarding the community. Hundreds of people every year follow the correct process for planning applications and development, sadly this has not been the case at this location.

“It is important to note that the cost of this process should not be borne by the taxpayer, and we will look to recover the full cost of the demolition from the landowner in due course.

“We will work closely with our demolition contractor, to limit any disruption for residents. We would like to also take this opportunity to thank the people living in close proximity to this property for their patience during this lengthy legal process.”

After receiving approval to proceed with the demolition, the site was secured on 31 May 2024 with demolition planned over the next six to eight weeks. This follows a lengthy legal process where Defendant Graham Wildin received multiple court orders to demolish the building and served time in prison for contempt of court.

The site’s history in brief is that Wildin first took steps to construct a leisure centre in the back garden of one of two adjacent houses he then owned at Meendhurst Road in November 2013, prompting a member of the public to submit a complaint to the Forest of Dean District Council.

Shortly after the start of construction various Council officers advised Wildin that the proposed building was not ‘permitted development’ and required planning permission. Construction continued despite Wildin being informed of the risks, including financial penalties.

Following a series of warnings, in November 2018 the Council obtained an injunction against Wildin, and he was given until 25 April 2020 to demolish the leisure building.

In legal proceedings brought by Forest of Dean District Council in June 2022, Wildin was found in contempt of court for non-compliance with the injunction.  The judge sentenced him to six weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months, on the condition that the building be permanently stripped and decommissioned within 18 weeks.

Wildin subsequently appealed the decision. The appeal was dismissed, and he was given until 10 March 2022 to comply with the Order to complete the required work, if he was to avoid prison.  Again, he did not comply with the injunction and was sentenced to six-weeks imprisonment in August 2022.

In March 2023 Wildin appealed the prison sentence, this was also dismissed. The latest deadline for Wildin to comply with the injunction expired in early January 2023.

In the absence of compliance by Wildin officers have now progressed to the next stage of enforcement action, which has started today (Friday 31 May 2024).

Contact Information

Forest of Dean Communications Team

[email protected]