A MAN alleged to have ignored council demands to stop an 'illegal' car wash business told jurors he had already sold off his involvement in the enterprise before an enforcement notice was ever issued.

James Pollitt, of Boars Hill, Oxford, denies one count of breaching an enforcement notice to cease all activities and knock down equipment at the Wash and Go hand car wash at Abingdon Road, Oxford.

His trial at Oxford Crown Court comes almost three years after Oxford City Council issued an enforcement notice against the business ordering it close, on October 28 2014.

The 54-year old, who is also known as Ronnie, took to the witness box yesterday as his trial continued.

He told jurors that he only owned the licence for the business and was not, nor had he ever been the land owner or business owner.

He also blamed 'the negligence of planning consultants' who, he claimed, had misinformed him on the possibility of getting planning permission later.

He told the court: "I had been advised by the planning consultants that I could make a retrospective planning application.

"This has been going on for three and a half years. I was told at a site visit by a planning enforcement officer that there were special orders at that site [to develop housing].

"But I could instruct a planning specialist who would overcome the concerns about planning."

Pollitt also told the court he had made a deal with two Albanian men to take over the business in August 2014, two months before the notice was issued.

Explaining a lack of paperwork he said that for the Albanian community all that was needed was 'a verbal agreement and a handshake'. The trial continues.