And finally… Developer who flouted planning rules ordered tear down unauthorised building

A property developer who has flouted building rules and constructed an “ugly” block of flats that bears no resemblance to the planning permission he was given has been told he must tear the whole thing down.

The developer, who has not been named, was given permission in 2008 to build 12 flats on a plot of land in Garratt Lane in Earlsfield, within the London Borough of Wandsworth.

This consent was based on detailed drawings submitted with his application. It allowed him to build nine one bedroom flats and three with two bedrooms.

However, what was eventually built was very different.

Instead he has squeezed in eight two bedroom flats and four one bed flats by using the basement to provide two of these properties.

This would never have been permitted because this part of Garratt Lane is liable to flooding, and on two unfortunate occasions the tenants in these basement units have been hit by floods.

In addition these basement flats have little or no natural light and are not suitable for residential accommodation. Most of the flats are also too small and have sub-standard amenity space.

On top of this, the appearance of the completed building looks nothing like the approved drawings.

Windows have been removed or altered leaving vast expanses of bare brick. The materials used in the construction also did not comply with those that were approved.

As a result the council has taken enforcement action which requires him to undo all of the elements of his scheme that do not have permission – which will essentially require him to demolish the entire building and start again.

Planning chairman Cllr Sarah McDermott said: “This is a shocking case of a property developer who clearly thought he could get away with totally ignoring planning rules.

“The building really is an eyesore that does not meet any design standards. On top of that he has crammed in way too much residential space leaving tenants in cramped and sub-standard accommodation.

“Worst of all the basement flats are in a well-known flood plain and as a consequence people living there have twice been flooded out, losing valuable possessions and suffering quite avoidable pain and upset.

“It is difficult to recall a more outrageous flouting of the planning laws and for doing so I’m afraid he must remove what is there and replace it with a new building that conforms to design standards and provides the people living there with proper facilities and appropriate living space.”

The enforcement notice requires all the necessary remedial works to be completed before October.

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