A JURY has convicted an East Lancashire builder of ignoring demands to restore countryside land behind a rural pub.

Planning enforcement officials have given repeated warnings to Stan Ainsworth, of Ribble Valley Luxury Homes, to remove compacted stones, tarmacadam and chippings from land behind the former Glory pub, in Burnley Road, Loveclough.

But Preston Crown Court heard that Ainsworth, 73, refused to co-operate, leading to Rossendale Council taking out a prosecution.

Ainsworth, of Eastham House Farm, Clitheroe Road, Mitton, was found guilty of three planning enforcement breaches after a trial.

His company, Ribble Valley Luxury Homes, was convicted of three related charges and the case was adjourned for sentence until June 3 by Judge Heather Lloyd.

Prosecutor Scott Stemp said Ainsworth had a legitimate planning permission to redevelop The Glory into apartments.

But the local authority was forced to issue an enforcement notice after aggregate was deposited on the land, along with a shipping container, and the levels were gradually changed.

Mr Stemp said the enforcement notice also related to the creation of a hardstanding beside the former pub.

Giving evidence, James Dalgleish, a former enforcement officer for the council, said he visited the site on a number of occasions during 2015 and 2016.

Jurors heard the levels of the land were gradually altered, by the importation of various materials.

Mr Dalgleish said: “You can see that soil has been placed to the left of the storage container, to extend a raised platform westwards. You can also see some aggregate placed on top.”

A Rossendale Council spokesman said: “The enforcement case required land within the garden areas to be put back to their previous levels after they had been raised without planning permission.”