4 August 2016

Owner fined £5000 for flouting planning rules

A landlord has been fined £5000 for dividing a house into two flats without planning permission.

Jobie Lee Edwards turned the house at 1 Abbotsbury Close, Saltdean, into a one-bed flat and a three-bed maisonette – a move which requires planning consent. The two flats remained despite an enforcement notice from the council and Mr Edwards losing an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate.  

On July 15 Eastbourne Magistrates Court ordered Mr Edwards to pay a £5000 fine, costs of £850 and a victim surcharge of £120. 

On the same day, the court fined another owner, Jeremy Scott Hoye, £300 and ordered him to pay costs of £850 after failing to take down a fence and gate erected around his property at 30 Aymer Road, Hove.  A retrospective planning application had been refused in 2013 on the grounds of harm caused to the surrounding conservation area.  It typically has more open, lower boundaries than the taller, close-boarded fence.  It remained despite Mr Hoye losing an appeal with the government’s Planning Inspectorate and being served an enforcement notice by the council.

Both defendants had attended court and pleaded guilty.

Chair of the planning committee Cllr Julie Cattell said:  “The message is to check whether you need planning consent if you want to make changes to a property.  If you face enforcement action please talk to us about how you can comply.  Planning rules are there to protect everyone’s neighbourhood so we’re not going to simply drop a case if we’re ignored.  We will go to court if we must.”

It is the latest in a string of successes for Brighton & Hove City Council’s planning enforcement team.  It has recently won four appeals with the government’s Planning Inspectorate.  In each case landlords had created shared student houses from family homes, without the required planning permission for change of use.