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14/03/2019

South London homeowner fined for illegal extension

Words: Laura Edgar
Unauthorised development in Croydon / Croydon Council

A Croydon resident has been directed to pay a confiscation order and a fine for illegally extending and converting an outbuilding into a flat, which was then rented out.

Ricahrd Wellesley-Cole, from Foxley Lane in Purley will have to pay a £20,000 confiscation order; a £12,000 fine; costs of £20,859; and a £120 victim surcharge.

Croydon Crown Court found him guilty of unlawfully extending and renting out an outbuilding at the property, as well as failing to comply with an enforcement notice that was issued by the Croydon Council in September 2013.

The enforcement notice required Wellesley-Cole to stop using the outbuilding as housing, and to demolish the unauthorised extension and clear the site by 13 July 2015. He appealed the notice but was unsuccessful. Despite a council reminder to comply with the notice, the building continued to be used as a house.

Judge Robinson noted that Wellesley-Cole had “had ample time to comply with the notice” but “consistently flouted planning law”.

Toni Letts, chair of Croydon’s planning committee, said: “Wellesley-Cole has learned, to his cost, that planning laws are there for a reason.

“Despite numerous reminders he decided to ignore the council. His costs do not stop at those issued by the court either – he will also be required to demolish the unauthorised extensions to the outbuilding and clear the resultant debris too.”

Paul Scott, cabinet lead for regeneration and planning, added: “Council officers will continue to monitor the site and are now considering how best to ensure compliance of the notice is met.”

Image credit | Croydon Council

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