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Owner of Margate grade II listed building fined £780 for carrying out unauthorised works

PUBLISHED: 10:28 10 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:29 10 March 2017

Thanet District Council

Thanet District Council

Archant

Mrs Bahl pleaded guilty at Canterbury Magistrates’ Court on February 28

What is a listed building?

- There are approximately 2,500 listed buildings in Thanet; the largest concentration of listed structures in the south east of England.

- A listed building can be a building, object or structure that is of historical or architectural interest.

- The structures are currently added to the statutory list by English Heritage with the approval of the secretary of state for culture, media and sport.

The owner of a grade II listed building has been prosecuted by Thanet District Council for carrying out unauthorised works inside the property.

The owner of the house in Fort Crescent, Margate was charged on two counts: one for carrying out unauthorised work to a grade II listed building, and one for failing to comply with the enforcement notice served by the council requiring the property be returned to its original layout.

Mrs Bahl, the owner, pleaded guilty to both charges, on February 28 at Canterbury Magistrates’ Court, and was fined £780.

The council was first notified of the unauthorised works being carried out in February 2013. The owner then submitted a retrospective listed building application which was refused, followed by an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate which was also dismissed. In April 2015 the council served an enforcement notice which the owner failed to fulfil by the compliance date of September 2015. This left the council with no alternative but to prosecute the owner.

Following this guilty verdict, the enforcement notice will remain in place until the owner has completed the work required. The property will be re-inspected in May 2017, and if the notice is still not complied with, then the owner could be taken back to court and receive a further fine.

Lin Fairbrass, Thanet councillor and cabinet member for community services said: “The heritage of Thanet is one of our greatest assets and it is a criminal offence to carry out any works to a listed building without first obtaining the proper consent.

“The council takes a strong approach towards anyone found to be carrying out unauthorised works. A person who is convicted of such an offence can be liable to imprisonment or a fine of up to £20,000, or both. These punishments are greater in case of conviction at the Crown Court.

“If anyone wants to carry out works to a listed building it is essential that they first seek advice from the council’s Planning Department.”

Further Information on carrying out works on listed buildings can be found on the council’s website at: www.thanet.gov.uk/your-services/planning/heritage-and-conservation/carrying-out-works-to-a-listed-building/.

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