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Removal business given months to shut down

A REMOVAL business said to be based without permission at a farm in Bean has been given two months to shut down.

Dartford council has been granted an interim injunction to prevent Stephen John Court and his son Kevin Court from operating their business from Cherwell Farm, in Southfleet Road, Bean. The pair now have to shut down and remove all equipment within two months.

The council says it had contacted owner Stephen Court several times since February 2006, after it received complaints HGVs were operating from the farm. Requests to cease the operation and apply for planning permission, the council said, were ignored.

According to the council, Mr Court said he would remove all shipping containers and apply for planning permission by January 15, 2007, but failed to do so, and the council continued to receive complaints. In May last year the council's enforcement officers, supported by Kent Police, executed a search warrant at the farm and found it was the base for a furniture removals and storage business, which was against planning laws and Green Belt policy.

Mr Court, the council says, did not respond to further correspondence warning an injunction would be sought if he failed to stop operating the business. The matter went before the High Court last Thursday.

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