A record fine for failure to obtain planning permission

London is one of the property development capitals of the world, but developers need to be careful when designing projects if they want the work to go ahead without a hitch. It is vital to ensure they obtain relevant permission before any construction begins so that they are certain the designs and plans are appropriate and acceptable. Once this is obtained the builders must stick to the plans; deviations and late changes to the design could result in problems.

The importance of planning permission was highlighted recently when Hackney Council handed out what they believe to be a record fine to a developer. Yusuf Sarodia, the director of Garland Development, was accused of building a six storey block of flats without permission in 2011. He was subsequently ordered to demolish the multi-million pound building and the 34 homes it contains, but has been fighting to save the property.

The fight against demolition has now resulted in a £735,000 fine. In August Hackney Council issued a confiscation fine of £700,000 to represent the rent that had been made on the property plus £25,000 in costs. When no action was taken to pay the case was taken to Snaresbrook Crown Court. An additional £10,000 fine was subsequently added to the total, taking it to the thought to be record figure.

The problems with the building, where apartments are valued at around £300,000, is that permission was not granted for the construction to take place. This has raised concerns about the safety of residents and those who live in neighbouring properties. It has also earned the ire of the Council because it is a blatant violation of planning laws.

The Council claims that further action will be taken against the developer if the property is not demolished as required. The developer will undoubtedly look to continue fighting against the order though or his huge investment could turn into an astonishing loss. The case certainly shows just how much risk you run if you don’t get the relevant permission for projects. As experts in property, estate and block management in Lewisham and the rest of London, we can help you to ensure that you are adhering to all necessary laws and regulations when developing your portfolio, minimising the risk of legal or financial repercussions.