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Landlord ordered to pay £336k over failure to comply with planning enforcement notices

Waltham Forest Council has obtained a £300,000 confiscation order against a landlord who failed to comply with planning enforcement notices dating back to 2013.

At a hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court last month (22 January), Judge Lennard also fined Peter Anuba, of Billet Road in Walthamstow, £6,000 and ordered him to pay the local authority’s costs of £30,000.

The judge indicated that the defendant should pay the fines, costs and confiscation order by 22 April 2021 or face an 18-month prison sentence.

Anuba had breached planning controls at a property on Cecil Road, Walthamstow, by constructing an unauthorised outbuilding to be used as a residential dwelling in the rear garden and the creation of a ‘House in Multiple Occupation’ [HMO] in the main house.

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In November 2013 Waltham Forest issued a planning enforcement notice requiring the use of the outbuilding as a residential dwelling to cease and for the structure to be demolished.

In June the following year the council issued a second planning enforcement notice requiring the HMO use to cease.

A compliance visit was undertaken by enforcement officers on 16 May 2019 when it was found that neither planning enforcement notice had been obeyed and prosecution proceedings were instigated.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “I am very pleased to see the court issue a large fine and confiscation order in this long-running case. The landlord collected a large sum of money while ignoring his responsibilities and this judgment sends a clear message to other who may be tempted to cut corners.

“Irresponsible landlords who decide to ignore planning enforcement notices, thinking officers won’t follow up or that the profits they will make outstrip the risks, should pay attention. We will catch up with you and we will push for the maximum penalties as the law is on our side.”

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