South Shields Cakeaway dessert shop fined after breaching operating hours

A council has said a shop which sells sweet treats has been given its "just desserts" after it led a prosecution against the business over its hours.

Joanne Bell, of The Cakeaway, Stanhope Road, South Shields.
Joanne Bell, of The Cakeaway, Stanhope Road, South Shields.

The Cakeaway dessert takeaway and delivery business has been prosecuted by South Tyneside Council after breaching a planning enforcement notice by operating beyond its permitted hours.

It successfully prosecuted the owners of the shop, in Stanhope Road, South Shields, at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court, this week.

The planning enforcement notice, which came into effect in July 2017, prohibited the opening of the business to customers, or their use for the delivery of takeaway food and drink, outside the permitted hours of 8am to 9pm, Mondays to Saturdays, and 10am to 7pm on Sundays.

However, magistrates heard how the business was observed to be open and operating when council officers visited the premises and witnessed the placing and filing of an order at around 10.30pm, on October 13, 2017.

Records obtained from online takeaway ordering service Just Eat also showed that since July 2017 takings for the shop from orders placed after the permitted hours were in excess of £48,000.

The Cakeaway business operators, Joanne Bell and Matthew Bonner, both aged 27 of Collingwood Street, South Shields, were charged on two counts – one in relation to keeping the shop open to customers and the other for using the premises for making deliveries, both outside the permitted hours.

Bonner pleaded guilty and was fined £198.

He was also ordered to pay £500 costs and victim surcharge of £30, bringing the total to £728.

Bell pleaded not guilty but was convicted by magistrates.

She was fined £120 and ordered to pay costs of £550 and victim surcharge of £30 – a total of £700.

Colin Harney, landlord of the premises, was also prosecuted under Section 179 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The Act states that a person with control of, or interest in land on which activities that breach a Planning Enforcement Notice are carried on or who causes or permits such activities to be carried out, commit an offence.

Those who also own the land in question also commit an offence – unless they can show they have taken reasonable steps to ensure compliance with the Notice.

The 49-year-old, of St Anthony’s Gardens in Hebburn, pleaded not guilty to charges arising out of his ownership of the land.

However, he was convicted by Magistrates.

He was fined £120 and ordered to pay costs of £550 and a £30 victim surcharge – £700 in total.

In a statement from the council it said the business had been given its "just desserts."

A spokesperson added: “When considering planning applications, conditions are imposed for good reason, with operating hours generally restricted for the amenity of those living nearby to prevent late night noise and disturbance often associated with business operations.

“In this case, the business was found to be operating beyond the hours which it applied for, which it was granted, when planning permission was given in February 2017.

"This happened after they had been reminded of the conditions in place when served with a Planning Enforcement Notice.

“We hope that this prosecution this sends out a clear message that we will take action against businesses in breach of planning control and which ignore the enforcement notices that are served upon them.”