An eyesore because most of the house, instead of just the garage, (see LBH Planning reference P/2020/3428) was demolished without the required planning permission, to build a couple of extensions to the rear and side, still drags on and remains an eyesore.
Neighbours will have noticed a new planning application for extensive works, reference P/2022/3149, validated 28 October 2022 but there is plenty history.
The tedious story began late January 2022 when a neighbour contacted Hounslow Council’s Building Control and their councillor to report a potential dangerous structure. Building Control attended the site on the same day, by when the majority of this 100 odd year old structure, referred as a “positive contributor” in the Spring Grove Conservation Area, had been removed leaving just the front wall to the house. The remainder was not supported so Building Control enacted the council’s immediate powers under the Building Act 1984 to make the structure safe by erecting scaffold support (at the owner’s expense) to remove the immediate danger.
At that point, the dangerous structure came under local authority control with the building owner needing to seek council approval prior to undertaking any further work, as well as enter the site. Building Control also reported this work to the Health and Safety Executive.
Cutting a long story short, the Head of Building Control later considered it appropriate and the council’s lawyers agreed that this should go to court. The property owner, the builder and the building company would be prosecuted under Section 80 of the Building Act for illegal and unsafe demolition.
The first hearing was at Uxbridge Magistrates in October where only the builder of himself and UK Landmark Construction Limited had pleaded guilty by post to the offences (the Owner went for not guilty). The Court was unable to accept the guilty plea by post on behalf of the builders as the law requires a director of the company to attend Court in order to enter a plea on its behalf. The case was adjourned to later that month for sentencing (of the builder) and plea and sentencing (of the company) respectively.
The builder stated as part of his mitigation that he was provided building control drawings showing a demolition plan with the walls to be removed and complete renewal of the roof by new roof trusses. He said he had no intention of full demolition of the structure and had acted with the advice and approval of his client.
At the same hearing, the Owner of 18 Grove Road pleaded not guilty. The Magistrates, after much deliberation, granted the application and the Owner’s case was adjourned to 4 November 2022.
At the November hearing, the building owner pleaded not guilty, therefore the Court set a trial date for 3 February 2023 at Uxbridge Magistrates Court at 10.00 am.
The final fine for Mr Sayeed Naveed Akhtar, the builder, was confirmed at the November hearing equating to a total of £8,090. The Magistrates imposed £2,000 fine to mark the offence, he was given credit for his guilty plea, otherwise, it would have been the maximum of £2,500; £1,855 towards costs and a £190 victim surcharge a total of £4,045.
UK Landmark Construction Limited, was also fined £2,000 to credit the early guilty plea, ordered to pay £1,855 prosecution costs and victim surcharge of £190 again totalling £4,045.
The Council will continue with the prosecution of the owner which, hopefully, will now be resolved on 3 February 2023 and also later reported here.
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