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DoE penalties are lacking in parity

It is touching to read in David Gordons report that Environment Minister Edwin Poots still sees no need to regard development without planning permission as a criminal offence as it might penalise individals who commenced development in breach of planning legislation (March 4).

Compare that degree of latitude to the zero tolerance of another agency within his department - Driver and Vehicle.

We are advised that, if our car is in store, not in use and 'off-road' and we forget to complete the annual SORN notice, an automatic penalty of up to £80 will land on our doorstep.

While I would not advocate motor tax evasion, the current media campaign advises us that an even more dreadful fate can await us if we venture out having forgotten to tax our car.

Our trusty chariot may well be seized and reduced to scrap metal.

DENIS BELL

Belfast

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