Development land is in such high demand in London that countless renovation and regeneration projects are underway to transform old buildings into new homes and retail space. One of the most astonishing stories at the moment regards the Alchemist pub in Battersea. The property was originally constructed in the Victorian times and had served the local community in south London for over 100 years. It became derelict in 2013 and was chosen as a potential development opportunity.
Developer Udhyam Amim took on the project and the pub was subsequently demolished. However, permission had not been gained from Wandsworth Borough Council to take this course of action. The council found that the property was considered a local landmark as well as a prominent historical building. It also stood in a conservation area.
The developer claimed that the property was in such a dangerous state that it needed to be demolished right away for safety reasons. The council does not share this view and attempts to gain retrospective planning permission have failed, mostly because it is now impossible to determine what condition the pub was in before it was demolished.
The end result is that the council has ordered the developer to rebuild the pub and restore the property to its original condition. Demolishing the building was a serious breach of planning laws, both because the property was so significant and the fact that it was located in a protected area. It will now need to be rebuilt and restored, a very costly prospect.
The issue with the Alchemist is just one of several instances when developers have ignored planning laws and demolished properties without permission. Carlton Tavern in Maida Vale was flattened earlier this year without permission too. The developers have likewise been ordered to rebuild it.
The rulings are clear signs that developers need to take care when planning projects and should only start work when full permission is granted. If they fail to do so they can find themselves facing the bill to rebuild and restore properties. If you need any kind of advice on investment properties, altering properties to meet your needs, or estate management in Hackney or any other area of London, we are the team to provide the help you need. We can ensure you are fulfilling all legal obligations in your property related endeavours.