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Mother, 52, sentenced to jail for failing to pay £167,000 fine for building illegal structures in village, despite taking holidays to Turkey and going out with friends.



Tracie Carter, a 52-year-old woman from Alvechurch, Worcestershire, has been sentenced to a year in jail for failing to comply with planning laws. She built six stables and a mobile home on greenbelt land without obtaining proper planning permission. Despite being ordered to pay a fine of £167,000 and remove the illegal structures, Carter instead chose to spend money on a holiday to Turkey and nights out with friends. She was given a suspended sentence initially but was later imprisoned when she failed to pay the fine.

The district judge at Kidderminster magistrates’ court warned Carter that she would face jail time if she did not make an effort to pay the hefty fine. When she failed to do so, her 12-month prison term was activated. The stables, which housed six horses, including a young foal, and the mobile home, were still present on the land at the time of her imprisonment. Neighbors reported seeing people coming and going from the property since Carter’s incarceration.

Carter had previously applied for planning permission to build the stables, but the application was rejected in 2004. Despite this, she went ahead and constructed the structures anyway, putting up a sign reading ‘Aqueduct Stables’ outside. She even rented out the stables to a third party and advertised them online as a sports facility. Photos on her Facebook page show her enjoying holidays in Turkey and nights out with friends.

Simon Wilkes, head of Worcestershire Regulatory Services, emphasized that Bromsgrove District Council will not tolerate breaches of planning regulations. The council’s head of planning, Ruth Bamford, added that it is crucial to protect greenbelt areas from harmful development. Carter’s actions highlight the importance of obtaining proper planning permission before carrying out construction projects, especially on protected land like greenbelts. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines and even imprisonment.

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