Wednesday, October 10, 2012

BUILDING MUST COME DOWN – JUSTICE AT LAST


The building is at the rear of the car park
You may be aware that Councillors McCoy, Coleman and I have been working on behalf of residents to have an illegal building removed from Hawthorn Road.

Astonishingly the matter has been going on for six years and a number of residents have been frustrated by the slow speed of progress – hampered at every possible stage by determination to ignore the court ruling and legal challenges.

Now, at last, the Crown Court has unequivocally concluded that the Council was right and that the building must come down as had been ordered in 2006 in the enforcement notice to demolish a building.

We are determined to stick up for local people against unscrupulous developers, many of whom don’t see or care about the impact that they have on neighbours.


For the sake of clarity I have included the press release in full below:


Council win third court case for breach of planning regulation

A six year case to remove a building, built without a planning permission, has been won by the council following a third successful prosecution against a man who continually flouted planning laws.

Sutton Council made its case against Mr Neil Woodward of Hawthorn Road, Wallington, after originally issuing an enforcement notice to demolish a building erected within his garden during the summer of 2006.

However, after six years and numerous court appearances, the building remained in place.

Mr Woodward faced a single count on an Indictment at Croydon Crown Court for the failure to comply with the terms of an enforcement notice, issued by the council following the erection of the building in the garden area of the property known as 16A, B and C Hawthorn Road.

Mr Woodward was convicted of the same offence in April 2009, and July 2010 but failed to take the appropriate action to demolish his development. 

After pleading guilty to the offence of failing to comply with the enforcement notice, Mr Woodward was fined £8,000 and ordered to make a £12,000 contribution to the prosecution costs. He was also ordered again to adhere to the notice and ensure the building is removed immediately. The council is currently considering whether or not to take direct action in this case should Mr Woodward continue to breach the outstanding enforcement notice.

The judge, HHJ Baucher made it clear that as a result of his defiance of planning law, Mr Woodward caused the council to spend funds which could have been used elsewhere to the detriment of Sutton’s Council Tax Payers.


Cllr Jayne McCoy, Chair of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee, said: “We take a dim view of developers who flout planning laws and seek to circumvent the proper process causing misery to their long suffering neighbours in the meantime - in this case for six years. For their sake we have felt that it is important to see this case through to the end, and we are considering taking direct action which would involve the council removing the structure and recouping its costs through placing a charge on the land concerned.”

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