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Fine for unsafe accommodation

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A man from Burton has pleaded guilty to ignoring an order from South Derbyshire District Council banning him from using the unsafe basement of his take-away as living accommodation.

Masood Iqbal of 32 Victoria Street, Burton-on-Trent admitted to Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court that he ignored an Emergency Prohibition Order served by the Council which banned him from allowing people to live and sleep in the basement of Papa’s Pizza Ltd, 57 High Street, Woodville.

Environmental Health Officers had previously warned Masood that the storage basement lacked adequate fire detection and means of escape, lacked heating and lacked suitable sanitation facilities.

Despite the warnings and an Order prohibiting the use of the basement, officers discovered a Hungarian man occupying the basement in February 2022.

Masood failed to turn up for two interviews inviting him to explain why the order had been ignored.

He was fined £500 and ordered to pay the Council’s prosecution costs of £782.17, and a £50 victim surcharge for breaching the order without reasonable excuse, by permitting the use of the basement as a residence by an individual.

Councillor Gordon Rhind, Chair of the Council’s Housing and Community Services Committee said: “Mr Masood had been clearly instructed twice before by the Council that the basement of his business is not a safe or appropriate place for workers to live and sleep.

It not only shows a basic lack of understanding of the legal standards required for safe and sanitary housing conditions, but it also seems to show a complete lack of respect for the wellbeing of the people who were being accommodated.”

Based on the most recent food hygiene inspection in October 2022, the Papa’s Pizza Ltd food business was given a clean bill of health.

The Emergency Prohibition Order relating to the basement of the business remains in force.

10 November 2022

South Derbyshire District Council logogram

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