A 49 year old man has been ordered to pay a total of £1,030 in fines and costs after failing to remove an unauthorised camper van from Storrs Common, Ingleton.

John Stevens pleaded guilty at York Magistrates' Court on Monday to failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice issued by the Yorkshire Dales National Park calling for the removal of the van, which he has been living in for three years.

Stevens was arrested by police on Saturday and held in custody over the weekend after magistrates issued a warrant after he failed to turn up at court for an earlier hearing.

Stevens was fined £250 and ordered to pay £750 towards the park authority's costs. He will also have to pay a surcharge of £30. Magistrates agreed to allow payments of £20 per week.

The campervan remains on Storrs Common and it is now up to Stevens to observe the enforcement notice and move it – or face further legal action.

Following the court hearing, Robert Heseltine, the national park authority's spokesman on development management, and a Craven district councillor, said: “John Stevens plonked his caravan in a highly visible and isolated spot outside Ingleton in May 2015 without thought for others, and made no attempt to seek planning permission. Unsurprisingly, members of the public complained. We acted on these complaints by taking enforcement action, but not before giving Mr Stevens plenty of time to find alternative accommodation. He repeatedly declined help from Craven District Council housing services.

“When enforcement notices requiring Mr Stevens to remove the caravan were finally issued, in October 2015 and January 2016, he ignored them. We had no option left but to take the issue to the courts."

Cllr Heseltine added: “It cannot be right for one person to act outside the rules that everyone else has to abide by. Isolated homes in the countryside are permitted, but only in special circumstances, such as when someone needs to live near their place of work.”