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Man fined for illegal extension in Barking

Words: Laura Edgar
Fined / Shutterstock_410177104

A Barking resident has been fined £15,000 for illegally extending his property without planning permission.

Laurence Albert Hill applied for planning permission to build a first-floor rear extension to his property in 2005.

The council refused permission and the Planning Inspectorate dismissed his subsequent appeal.

In 2014, planning enforcement officers at the council became aware that Hill had proceeded with the extension. He was issued with an enforcement notice in February 2015, which stated that the extension must be removed by June 2016.

Hill appealed against the enforcement notice and the action was put on hold.

The Planning Inspectorate dismissed Hill’s appeal, but he refused to take down the extension.

In 2018, street enforcement officers noticed the structure and reported it to the planning enforcement team because they felt it presented a danger.

Hill was invited to attend a voluntary interview under caution to explain why he had not complied with the notice, which he ignored.

In January at Barking Magistrates Court, Hill pleaded not guilty.

He was ordered to pay a fine of £15,000 fine and £1,490 in costs, as well as a victim surcharge of £170. He has three months to make the payment.

Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety said: “It is regrettable that people feel they can choose not to follow planning rules, and residents contact me because they want this stamped out. This case demonstrates that the council will do everything in their power to make sure the rules apply to everyone.

“Sometimes those that flout the rules will do all they can to drag out the legal process – in this case almost 15 years. However, that won’t deter us from taking you on.”

Image credit | Shutterstock