BUSINESSMAN Graham Wildin was today (Friday) starting a prison sentence for contempt of court over a long-running dispute with Forest of Dean District Council.

Wildin was sentenced to six weeks imprisonment by a judge at the High Court in Cardiff following a case brought by the council.

The council took enforcement action after he built a “sports centre” at his home in Cinderford without planning permission.

In a judgement handed down on November 4 he was found to be in contempt and given a deadline of March 10 to remove the 10,000sq ft complex at his home in Meendhurst Road.

The businessman, who runs an accountancy practice in Lydney, was brought back before the court to try to explain why he had not complied.

The council’s Cabinet member for Communities, Cllr Paul Hiett, (Progressive Independents) said: ““The enforcement case against Mr Wildin has been a long and complex road. In what should have been a completely avoidable situation, Mr Wildin has continually ignored planning law and policies that are there to protect local communities.

“The law is the law and we won’t give up pursuing Mr Wildin and ensuring that he complies with the legislation in exactly the same way as everyone else.”

The council has been awarded substantial costs and Mr Wildin will still be required to demolish the complex.

For the full story see next week’s story.