Taxi boss fined in town centre building trial

The building on Wallgate being used by Crusader Cabs without planning permission
The building on Wallgate being used by Crusader Cabs without planning permission

The owner of a Wigan taxi company has been found guilty of using a town centre building without permission and fined.

Hossein Ghorbani went on trial at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court after pleading not guilty to moving Crusader Cabs into an office opposite Wallgate station illegally.

However, the bench found him guilty of disobeying a notice to stop using the building and fined him £1,000.

The local authority took the step of launching a private prosecution against Ghorbani, of St David’s Crescent in Aspull, after its attempts at enforcement action had no effect.

The council said Crusader Cabs’ move into the former financial services shop without getting approval to trade there was a breach of planning regulations.

Ghorbani had claimed he was using the building as a tourist information centre and no cabs were being dispatched from there.

Mark Williams, who holds the operator’s licence for Crusader Cabs’ other office onWallgate, also appeared at court but the case against him was dismissed.

In addition to the fine Ghorbani was ordered to pay a £100 victim’s surcharge and £200 in costs. Ghorbani is already planning to appeal the decision and is expected to appear at the crown court at a date still to be decided.

Karl Battersby, Wigan Council director of economy and environment, said: “We welcome the court’s decision and hope the notice is now complied with without the need for further action.”