Home owners prosecuted by Hackney Council for flouting planning laws

Two successful prosecutions have been brought against owners of properties who built extensions and made alterations without planning permission.

A developer who converted a terraced house into four flats was ordered to pay a £2,000 fine and £300 costs after failing to put the house back to its original state.

And a home owner who built a third storey on top of his house was fined £3,000 and £930 costs following failure to remove the extension.

In both cases, the properties must be put back to their original state.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, said: “Hackney Council is sending out a clear message that it will not put up with planning laws being flouted or ignored.

“Planning laws are in place to protect residents and our neighbourhoods from unauthorised development. People who choose to ignore them can expect to suffer the consequences.”

19 Colenso Road, E5

Residents near 19 Colenso Road, E5, alerted planning enforcement officers to the fact that excavation works were being carried out inside the two storey property.

Visits by planning enforcement officers confirmed the works were in preparation for converting the house into four separate flats and building a two storey rear extension.

The unauthorised work was completed despite warnings to the owner – Sajid Daud Ismail , of Mitcham, Surrey - that planning permission was needed.

The Council served a planning enforcement notice giving the owner three months to stop using the flats, remove all internal works to put the house back to its original state, and remove the rear extension.

Council lawyers prosecuted them after they failed to comply with the notice – a criminal offence.

Mr Ismail was convicted of failing to comply with the planning enforcement notice at Thames Magistrates Court on 15 April.

30 Benthall Road, N16

Planning enforcement officers served a planning enforcement notice to Patrick Donnelly – owner of 30 Benthall Road, N16 – after he built a flat roof extension, adding a third storey to the property.

The mid-Victorian terrace is distinctive in the street because, unlike the majority of two storey houses with flat roofs, it has three storeys and a steeply sloping roof. The enforcement notice was served due to the the visual impact on the street and on neighbours.

Retrospective planning applications and an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate failed, and Mr Donnelly was convicted of failing to comply with the planning enforcement notice at Thames Magistrates Court on 15 April.

What happens next?

In both cases, the owners have spoken to Plannining Officers in the Council and agreed to carry out approved remedial works to resolve the breach. If this does not happen, the Council will prosecute again.