27 June, 2022

£50,000 fine for unauthorised work to listed building in Westgate-on-Sea

Thanet District Council has successfully prosecuted the owner of a Grade II listed building in Westgate-on-Sea. Magistrates have ordered that the defendant pay a total of £50,130  for failure to comply with a Listed Building Enforcement Notice.

Mr Malwai Nijar removed timber sash windows at the front of 123 Canterbury Road, Westgate, without getting listed building consent. Listed Building Enforcement Notice was initially served in 2015. When negotiations to ensure the timber windows were fully reinstated failed, the council commenced legal proceedings.

The defendant  was found guilty in his absence at Margate Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 2 December 2021. A further hearing was held on Monday 6 June 2022 where the defendant  received a fine of £40,000 for failing to comply with an enforcement notice, contrary to section 43 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. He also pleaded guilty to failure to surrender to the summary trial on Thursday 2 December 2021, contrary to section 6 of the Bail Act 1976 and was fined a further £2,500.

The defendant was also ordered to pay the council’s costs of £7,560 plus a £70 victim surcharge.

Following the guilty verdict, the notice will remain in force until the work required is done. Council officers will inspect the property again in August 2022. If the work has still not been completed, Mr Nijar could be taken back to court and could receive a further fine.

It is a criminal offence to carry out any internal or external works to a Listed Building without first obtaining Listed Building consent under the Town and Country Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. 

We take a strong approach towards anyone found to be carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building. In certain circumstances, a person found guilty of an offence can be sentenced to a prison term of up to six months, a fine, or both. The punishments are greater in case of conviction at the Crown Court.

We advise anyone wanting to carry out works to a listed building to seek advice from our Planning Department. Further information is available on our website at thanet.gov.uk/services/planning/

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