Barking man fined £15k for building house extension - after he was refused permission 15 years ago

Barking man Laurence Albert Hill was fined £15,000 after illegally building a first-floor extension

Barking man Laurence Albert Hill was fined £15,000 after illegally building a first-floor extension on his King Edward Road home. Picture: Barking and Dagenham Council - Credit: Archant

A Barking man was fined £15,000 for illegally building an extension to his property, after being denied the required planning permission 15 years ago.

Laurence Albert Hill, of King Edward's Road, put in a planning application for the first floor rear extension in 2005, but it was rejected by council and then his appeal to the Planning Inspectorate was dismissed.

However, council planning enforcement officers became aware in 2014 that Mr Hill had ignored these decisions and built it anyway.

On February 26, 2015, he was sent notice to remove the extension by June 26, 2016, which Mr Hill appealed - putting enforcement action on hold.

The Planning Inspectorate dismissed the appeal in December 2016 and Mr Hill was told to remove the structure by March 2017.

But still he refused.

Last year, council officers noticed extension and reported it to the planning enforcement team as they believed it presented a danger.

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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 Barkingside Magistrates' Court on January 10, where he pleaded not guilty.

He was ordered to pay a £15,000 fine with £1,490 in costs and a victim surcharge of £170.

He has three months to make the payment.

Councillor Margaret Mullane, who is 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."