The owner of a property in Hove has been ordered to undo an unauthorised loft conversion.
Michael Hamdan, the owner of 6 Palmeira Square, converted the top floor of a listed building into two flats without planning permission.
He has been served with two enforcement notices by Brighton and Hove City Council and ordered to change the top floor back.
The planning enforcement and listed building notices give Mr Hamdan nine months to stop using the fourth floor and internal roof space as two separate units. He must turn the space back to a single flat.
The four-storey terraced building is located on the east side of Palmeira Square within the Brunswick Square Conservation Area. The building was listed in 1971.
In April last year the council received a complaint that unauthorised building work was being carried out at the property.
A council planning enforcement officer visited the premises and advised the builder to stop work.
The next month, after a successful prosecution for unauthorised works to a listed building, the officer made a second visit.
He found that work had continued and that the fourth floor and roof space had been converted into two flats.
Neither planning permission nor listed building consent has been granted for the alterations.
In August last year and January this year Mr Hamdan applied for retrospective planning permission to convert the fourth floor and roof space into two flats. Both applications were refused.
Officers concluded that the work had not only harmed the character of the listed building but potentially weakened its structure.
Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, the chairman of the planning committee, said: “Converting the roof of this property without gaining planning permission and then continuing building work against the advice of planning officers has been a costly mistake.
“The built heritage of our city deserves care and attention and adds so much to the quality of life in our city.
“We will continue to take appropriate action against those who carry out unauthorised work on historic buildings.
“Owners of any properties, but particularly listed buildings, are advised to contact the council’s planning team for advice before starting any work.
“In this case, a simple phone call to the council’s planning team to establish whether planning permission was required would have saved time, money and stress.”
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