Barking man told to demolish illegal home extension after losing protracted legal battle

A HOMEOWNER has been ordered to pay almost £17,000 and told to tear down part of his property after illegally building an extension 15 years ago.

Laurence Hill was refused planning permission for the first floor rear extension to his home in King Edward Road, Barking, in 2005.

He appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, who also ruled he could not add to the property. But almost a decade later, in 2014, Barking and Dagenham Council became aware he had built the extra rooms anyway.

Hill was ordered to tear down the extension but refused.

After a five year legal battle he was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £1,660 in costs at Barking Magistrates’ Court on January 10.

Councillor Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement, 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.

“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.”

Hill has three months to pay the fine and take down the extension.

A council spokesman said: “Hill has been informed and knows that he needs to take down the extension as well as pay the fine. For every day that the illegal structure remains in place, he remains in breach.

“If he doesn’t, the council will look to take action using its powers under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.”

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Rachael Burford

Local Democracy Reporter