Installing the wrong kind of windows in a Brighton conservation area has cost a shopkeeper £2,000 in court fees.
Douglas Newman, owner of ‘Goldarts’ Jewellers and Pawnbrokers, installed uPVC windows in the maisonette above without applying for planning permission. The premises at 1A, York Place, Brighton, is in the Valley Gardens Conservation Area.
Mr Newman applied for planning permission retrospectively but it was refused. He also claimed the new windows were replacing old uPVC windows but a 2006 Retail Survey carried out by the council showed the original wooden sash windows.
The council issued an enforcement notice and instructed the owner to return them to the original timber sliding sash windows. When he refused to comply with the planning notice, the council took court action.
Yesterday, Mr Newman pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates’ Court and was fined £1,500 plus £810 costs and £15 victim support contribution (total £2325).
Councillor Lynda Hyde, chairman of Brighton & Hove’s planning committee, said: “After several appeals, all of which were turned down, Mr Newman continued to ignore the council’s instructions to restore the windows back to their original state. Planning regulations are there for good reason, in this case to preserve the character of the conservation area, and we have no hesitation in going to court in such cases.
“I would encourage anybody who is in breach of planning regulations to contact officers straight away to discuss resolving the matter before formal action has to be taken against them.”
Mr Newman now has eight weeks to provide the council with a timescale of work to restore the windows.