Planning breach houses to be demolished

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Prosecution of Chigwell residents for breaches to planning enforcement notices.

Roy Hughes and Brenda Hughes

Mr and Mrs Hughes of Brownings Farmhouse in Gravel Lane Chigwell were each fined £880 for failing to comply with an enforcement notice requiring them to take down a partially constructed house they didn’t have planning permission for. They were also ordered to pay £616 in prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £88 each.

Planning permission was refused in February 2016 for a 2 bedroom building. They were handed a planning enforcement notice to take down the partially constructed house in June. The enforcement notice was set to be carried out by October. This notice was not appealed by the Hughes.

In November an Epping Forest District Council enforcement officer found the building had not been taken down so prosecution proceedings were started. Mr and Mrs Hughes pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Magistrates Court in February 2017 and both agreed the enforcement notice would be complied with within 4 weeks.

John Farrugia

John Farrugia was fined £750 and ordered to pay a contribution towards the council’s prosecution costs of £250 and a victim surcharge of £75 at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on 2 March 2017. He pleaded guilty to converting a garage into a 1 bedroom building without planning permission and failure to comply with an enforcement notice. The Magistrate indicated the level of fine was due to his guilty plea and his declared financial position.

In November 2014 planning consent was granted for a new garage adjoining an existing garage on land adjoining 26 Maypole Drive in Chigwell. Mr Farrugia then started to construct a new building as a residential dwelling and convert the existing garage to be part of the building.

John Farrugia was refused a retrospective application in September 2015 to use the building as a dwelling. A planning enforcement notice was served on 6 November 2015 requiring the use of the building as a residence to cease and the building to be converted back to garages. This included the removal of the bedroom windows and insertion of 2 garage doors in their place. The notice was served on the owner of the property, Peter John Farrugia (his son), and any occupier of the residence.

A further retrospective planning application made by John Farrugia on 4 December 2015 to convert the building to a 1 bedroom dwelling was refused. John Farrugia appealed against the enforcement notice. This was dismissed by a Planning Inspector on 19 July 2016. This meant the notice had to be complied with by 19 October 2016.

Ownership of the property had been transferred to Luke John Farrugia, brother of Peter John Farrugia and son of John Farrugia.

The notice was not complied with and prosecution proceedings were started against both Luke John Farrugia as owner of the property and John Farrugia as a person having control or an interest in the land. John Farrugia had made the planning applications, appealed the enforcement notice and was suspected of living in the property. John Farrugia pleaded guilty and indicated that although the property was in his son’s name, his son had no knowledge of what he had been doing and it was entirely his responsibility. He admitted that he had been using the property as his residence. Prosecution proceedings against Luke John Farrugia were withdrawn.

Luke indicated he will ensure the enforcement notice is complied with as soon as possible. If he fails to do so he can be prosecuted and cannot now claim he knew nothing about the matter.