Enforcement breach hits developer with record fine
A rogue developer who ignored an enforcement notice has been ordered to pay out £725,120 after building a six storey block of flats without planning permission. Exeter Planning is pretty surprised that no one noticed something happening; like cranes and stuff, and put a stop to it.
Whatever, Hackney Council served Yusuf Sarodia, director of Garland Development Limited, with a planning enforcement notice in August 2011 ordering him to demolish the 34 flats in Hoxton.
As one does (well, if you are Mr Sarodia) he ignored it and was taken to court by the Council where on 21 November 2014 Mr Sarodia and Garland Development pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the enforcement notice. “It’s a fair cop guv”, he may have said (but probably didn’t).
Mr Sarodia was sentenced on 30 November and ordered to pay a fine of £10,000. Cheap at half the price considering the profit he was making from renting the flats, or possibly not since the Council made an application to confiscate the illegal profits under the Proceeds of Crime Act and in November 2015 Snaresbrook Crown Court ordered the seizure of £700,000.
The confiscation order combined with the £10,000 fine plus £15,120 in legal costs gave a total bill of £725,120. Ching ching.
Guy Nicholson, the Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said “Don’t mess with Hackney Council’s crack enforcement team”. No, what he actually said was “Anyone who thinks they have a right to build a property in Hackney without first obtaining planning permission must realise that the Council will take action against those who flout the rules.
Putting up a building without planning permission is not only breaking planning law but, to be quite frank, puts at risk the safety of residents and neighbouring properties” (which seems to assume such buildings are necessarily dangerous).
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