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Barking man fined for erecting an illegal extension

ExtensionTags Adults , Council , Residents

A Barking resident has been fined £15,000 for building an illegal extension to his property without getting the required planning permission.

Laurence Albert Hill of 20 King Edward Road, Barking, initially put in a planning application to erect a first floor rear extension to his property in 2005. Following a rejection from the council, Hill appealed the decision to the Planning Inspectorate, who dismissed it. 

However, the council’s planning enforcement officers became aware, in 2014, that Mr Hill ignored these decisions and proceeded with the build. Enforcement officers issued him with an Enforcement Notice under the Town & County Planning Act 1990, on 26 February 2015, to remove the extension by 26 June 2016, which was then also appealed by Mr Hill. Therefore, enforcement action had to be put on hold.

Following the decision from the Planning Inspectorate to dismiss the appeal in December 2016, Hill was given an additional three months to remove the structure by March 2017.

Despite this, Hill still refused to take down the extension and last year, Street Enforcement Officers noticed the structure and reported it to the Planning Enforcement team as it presented a danger.

Mr Hill was invited to attend a voluntary interview under caution to explain why he had not compiled with the Notice, which he also ignored. 

As a result, Mr Hill was summoned to court and appeared and pleaded not guilty at Barking Magistrates Court, on 10 January 2020. He was ordered to pay a £15,000 fine with £1,490 costs and a victim surcharge of £170. He has three months to make the payment.

Councillor 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.”

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