Hove couple fined £18k for illegal extension

Posted On 09 Mar 2010 at 6:34 pm

A couple who erected an extension at the front of their property without planning permission were fined nearly £18,000 yesterday at Brighton Magistrates Court and ordered to take it down.

Ignacy and Krystyna Lechowicz of 30 Goldstone Way, Hove, were found guilty in their absence of failing to comply with a planning enforcement notice. This was the second conviction for this offence.

They were each fined £7,500 (£15,000 total) and each ordered to pay £1,450 costs and a victim surcharge of £15.

Brighton & Hove City Council has been requiring that they remove the extension which consists of a balcony and carport with associated piers and walls; remove waste materials from the front of the house and make good any damage caused to the wall of the original house and forecourt since they started the unauthorised work in 2005.

Councillor Lynda Hyde, chairman of the planning committee, said: “There is no doubt that the structure on this house is unacceptable and should be removed. We’ve been asking Mr & Mrs Lechowicz to arrange for the structure to be taken down and to remove waste materials and repair the front wall. Regrettably our approaches so far have been ignored and we were forced to take legal action.

“The planning rules are there to protect residents from inappropriate development. If we did not take action against householders who build without planning permission and cause harm, it would be unfair to the vast majority who take the trouble to ensure their permission is in place before they start work.”

The council will now be seeking to ensure the notice is complied with.

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