The Earl of Munster
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will raise the level of fines imposed for breaking the laws designed to protect listed buildings so that they provide a realistic deterrent.
§ Baroness Blatch:
The Planning and Compensation Bill, which has passed all its stages in your Lordships' House and is now in Committee in another place. contains three amendments to the existing legislation in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 which will enable increased fines to be imposed by the courts for breaches of listed building controls.
Schedule 2 to the Bill increases the maximum fine in section 9 of the Act on summary conviction for unauthorised works to a listed building from the statutory maximum (£2,000) to £20,000 and similarly increases the maximum fine in Section 43 of he Act on summary conviction for the offence of not complying with a listed building enforcement notice from the statutory maximum to £20,000. For conviction on indictment of either of these offences the existing penalty is an unlimited fine.
In addition, the schedule extends to the magistrates' court the existing Crown Court power in Section 9(5) of the 1990 Act, which provides that, in determining the amount of any fine to be imposed on a person convicted on indictment of an offence under Section 9, the court shall in particular have regard to any financial benefit which has accrued or appears likely to accrue to him in consequence of the offence.