QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF GLOUCESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL||(CLAIMANT)|
|KEYWAY (GLOUCESTER) LIMITED||(DEFENDANT)|
Smith Bernal Wordwave Limited
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR I DOVE QC (instructed by Willans Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the DEFENDANT
Crown Copyright ©
"Keyway (Gloucester) Limited, did contravene a stop notice issued pursuant to section 183 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in respect of land at Colemans Farm, Elmstone Hardwicke, Gloucestershire the stop notice having been served on Keyway (Gloucester) Limited on 13th November 2002 which notice prohibited the importation and depositing of all waste material on land at Colemans Farm, Elmstone Hardwicke, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire [the site] contrary to section 187 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990."
"Where the local planning authority consider it expedient that any relevant activity should cease before the expiry of the period for compliance with an enforcement notice, they may, when they serve the copy of the enforcement notice or afterwards, serve a notice (in this Act referred to as a 'stop notice') prohibiting the carrying out of that activity on the land to which the enforcement notice relates, or any part of that land specified in the stop notice."
"(1) A stop notice must refer to the enforcement notice to which it relates and have a copy of that notice annexed to it.
(2) A stop notice must specify the date on which it will take effect (and it cannot be contravened until that date).
(3) That date
(a) must be not earlier than three days after the date when the notice is served, unless the local planning authority consider that there are special reasons for specifying an earlier date and a statement of those reasons is serviced with the stop notice; and.
(b) must not be later than twenty-eight days from the date when the notice is first served on any person . . .
(6) Where a stop notice has been served in respect of any land, the local planning authority may display there a notice (in this section and Section 187 referred to as a 'site notice'."
Section 187(1) states:
"If any person contravenes a stop notice after a site notice has been displayed or the stop notice has been served on him he shall be guilty of an offence."
Subsection (3) makes provision for a defence:
"In proceedings for an offence under this section it shall be a defence for the accused to prove --
(a) that the stop notice was not served on him, and
(b) that he did not know, and could not reasonably have been expected to know, of its existence."
"Any notice or other document required or authorised to be served or given under this Act may be served or given either --
(a) by delivering it to the person on whom it is to be served or to whom it is to be given; or
(b) by leaving it at the usual or last known place of abode of that person, or, in a case where an address for service has been given by that person, at that address; or
(c) by sending it in a prepaid registered letter or by the recorded delivery service, addressed to that person at his usual or last known place of abode, or, in a case where an address for service has been given by that person, at that address; or
(d) in the case of an incorporated company or body, by delivering it to the secretary or clerk of the company or body at their registered or principal office, or sending it in a prepaid registered letter, or by the recorded delivery service, addressed to the secretary or clerk of the company or body at that office."
"This section is without prejudice to section 233 of the Local Government Act 1972 (general provisions as to service of notices by local authorities)."
"(1) Subject to subsection (8) below, subsections (2) to (5) below shall have effect in relation to any notice, order or other document required or authorised by or under any enactment to be given to or served on any person by or on behalf of a local authority or by an officer of a local authority.
(2) Any such document may be given to or served on the person in question either by delivering it to him, or by leaving it at his proper address, or by sending it by post to him at that address.
(3) Any such document may -
(a) in the case of a body corporate, be given to or served on the secretary or clerk of that body ...
(4) For the purposes of this section and of section 26 of the Interpretation Act 1889 (service of documents by post) in its application to this section, the proper address of any person to or on whom a document is to be given or served shall be his last known address, except that --
(a) in the case of a body corporate or their secretary or clerk, it shall be the address of the registered or principal office of that body ... "
Subsection (10) provides:
"Except as aforesaid and subject to any provision of any enactment or instrument excluding the foregoing provisions of this section, the methods of giving or serving documents which are available under those provisions are in addition to the methods which are available under any other enactment or any instrument made under any enactment."
"On 13th November 2002 the Respondents' registered office was 'Newbliss', Rudford, Gloucester and the respondents' principal office was Corinium House, Luther Challis Business Centre, Corinium Avenue, Barnwood, Gloucester. The Respondents' Company Secretary was Ms Sarah Catherine Christie."
The Justices then set out their findings in respect of the registered office and the principal office. As to the former, they found:
"(c) Mr Worrallo (Process Server employed by the County Council) visited Newbliss Farm, Rudford, Gloucester on 13th November 2002, with an envelope containing a 'stop notice' for service on Sarah Catherine Christie (Company Secretary). The envelope was correctly addressed.
(d) On 13th November 2002 Mr Worrallo spoke to an unidentified woman at Newbliss Farm. This woman agreed to deliver the documents to Ms Christie (Company Secretary). Mr Worrallo described this lady to the court but did not obtain a name, signature or receipt for the document.
(e) Service of this 'stop notice' was not sent by registered or recorded delivery.
(f) The 'stop notice' was delivered by Mr Worrallo, (Process Server) by hand to an unidentified female at Newbliss Farm.
(g) The unidentified female as described by Mr Worrallo (Process Server) did not fit the description of Ms Christie (Company Secretary)."
"(h) On 13th November 2002 the process server (Mr Worrallo) went to the principal office (Corinium House) with the 'stop notice' contained in an envelope, which was correctly addressed.
(i) The process server (Mr Worrallo) went through the front door of Corinium House and handed the envelope containing the 'stop notice' to an unidentified male person standing behind the desk in the reception area.
(j) Mr Worrallo (Process Server) did not obtain the name of this unidentified male person behind the reception desk at Corinium House, nor did he obtain a receipt.
(k) Mr Worrallo (Process Server) left the envelope containing the 'stop notice' with the unidentified man behind the reception desk with instructions to pass the envelope to a director or officer of Keyway (Gloucester) Limited. The process server (Mr Worrallo) left without obtaining a response whether in the negative or affirmative from the unidentified male.
(l) The envelope containing the 'stop notice' when left at the principal office by Mr Worrallo (Process Server) was not addressed specifically to Ms Christie (Company Secretary).
(m) The reception desk at Corinium House is only manned by a female receptionist from 9.00 am till 5.30 pm, and the identity/position of the male within the company or even whether he was employed by the company was not clarified or confirmed by any witness.
(n) Service of the 'stop notice' was not sent by registered or recorded delivery."
"(c) The 'stop notice' was delivered in person by Mr Worrallo (Process Server) and was not handed directly to the Company Secretary (Ms Christie) at either the registered or principal offices of Keyway (Gloucester) Limited.
(d) The 'stop notice' was left at both the registered and principal offices of Keyway (Gloucester) Limited, with unidentified people.
(e) The envelope containing the 'stop notice' when left at the principal office by Mr Worrallo (Process Server) was not addressed specifically to Ms Christie (Company Secretary).
(f) The applicant did not take all such steps as were reasonably practicable to effect proper service because the appellant could have sent the 'stop notice' by recorded or registered mail."
"Whether in order to prove effective service of a stop notice under the Town and Country Planning Act on a limited company it is sufficient for the Planning Authority to prove that they have left a copy of the stop notice either at the registered office or at the principal office of the company in accordance with section 233(2) and 233(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, or alternatively whether as found by the Magistrates it is necessary to prove that the document has actually been delivered into the hands of a Director or Secretary of the company."
" . . . either by delivering it to [the company] or by leaving it at [the company's] [registered or principal office] or by sending it by post to [the company] at that address."
"A document may be served on a company by leaving it at, or sending it by post to the company's registered office."