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Couple who bought property subject to enforcement notice hit with £100k confiscation after continuing to rent it out

A couple who bought a property containing nine flats at auction despite being aware that an enforcement notice required its demolition have been ordered to pay a total of £136,240 for continuing to rent it out.

At Croydon Crown Court last month (5 April), Derek and Susan Stansbury, 63 and 52 respectively, were ordered to pay £100,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and fined £10,500.

The defendants were also ordered to pay costs of £25,500 and a £240 victim surcharge.

The sentencing followed previous trials at Croydon Crown Court, where the couple, both of Ponsonby Place, London, were found guilty under section 179(2) and (8) of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 for failing to comply with an enforcement notice to demolish 27A Theobald Road.

The couple purchased the building at auction in January 2012. Croydon Council officers wrote to the couple following the purchase reminding them it needed to be demolished, but the requests were ignored and the property continued to be rented out.

The enforcement notice had been issued to the previous owners as the building was not in accordance with the approved planning application.

Cllr Paul Scott, Croydon’s cabinet lead for regeneration and planning, said: “I hope this case acts as a stark warning to others thinking of flouting planning law.

“We always take these offences seriously as they can blight communities and have very serious consequences. This should be a lesson to anybody considering going ahead with ill-conceived developments in contravention of planning directives designed to protect the local environment and neighbouring residents.”

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