On March 12 at North Devon Magistrates Court, Robert William Burgess pleaded guilty for failing to comply with the notice issued by North Devon Council to remove raised decking from the rear of 103 High Street, Ilfracombe. The decking had been constructed at the property without planning permission and was considered to be too close to the rear and windows of neighbouring properties with the potential for noise and disturbance. Failure to comply with the notice issued last summer resulted in the case being taken to court by the council. Head of place at NDC, Michael Tichford, said: Prosecution is always a last resort for us but is action that needs to be taken to put right breaches of planning control. This action can be avoided by complying with enforcement notices when issued which we will always follow up because of the impact unauthorised development can have within the district. We welcome enquiries and applications from the public through our pre-application enquiry service to find out if planning permission is needed before starting development work. Carrying out work without the right permissions can prove costly especially if the development needs to be taken down and the property or land put back to how it was before it started. Mr Burgess was fined £350 and ordered by the court to pay a victim surcharge of £35.00, along with the councils costs of £406.25 for taking the case to court, totalling £791.25. Information about making a planning application and the pre-application advice service can be found on the planning pages of the council website www.northdevon.gov.uk\/planning .