A Croydon resident who decided to illegally extend and convert an outbuilding into a flat he then rented out, has been fined more than £50,000 for flouting planning laws.
Richard Wellesley-Cole, of Foxley Lane, Purley, was on Friday (8 March 2019) ordered to pay a £20,000 confiscation order and fined £12,000. He had been found guilty of unlawfully extending and renting out an outbuilding at the property, and failing to comply with an enforcement notice issued. He was also ordered to pay costs of £20,859 alongside a £120 victim surcharge.
Croydon Crown Court heard Wellesley-Cole failed to comply with the enforcement notice served by the council in September 2013, which ordered him to stop using the outbuilding as housing and to demolish the unauthorised extension.
The 54-year-old unsuccessfully appealed against the issuing of the notice which required the building be demolished and the site cleared of the resultant debris by 13 July 2015.
Despite the council subsequently writing to Wellesley-Cole reminding him of his obligation to comply with the terms of the notice, the building continued to be used in its unauthorised form, resulting in the council bringing the prosecution proceedings.
On sentencing, Judge Robinson said Wellesley-Cole had “consistently flouted planning law” and “had ample time to comply with the notice”.
“This successful prosecution shows Croydon Council, and the courts, take the flouting of planning laws extremely seriously.
“This unauthorised extension has led to an expensive day in court for Wellesley-Cole. It should be a lesson to anybody considering going ahead with ill-conceived developments in contravention of planning regulations in place to protect the local environment and residents.
“Council officers will continue to monitor the site and are now considering how best to ensure compliance of the notice is met.”
Councillor Paul Scott, cabinet lead for regeneration and planning
“Wellesley-Cole has learned, to his cost, that planning laws are there for a reason.
“Despite numerous reminders he decided to ignore the council. His costs do not stop at those issued by the court either – he will also be required to demolish the unauthorised extensions to the outbuilding and clear the resultant debris too.”
Councillor Toni Letts, chair of Croydon’s Planning Committee