Conservation area demolition leads to prosecution

PR 47911th October 2005

Three Rivers District Council has successfully prosecuted a developer for demolishing a building in one of the district's 17 Conservation Areas.

Banner Homes was found guilty of demolishing a stableblock at Darvells Yard on Common Road, Chorleywood at Hemel Hempstead Magistrates Court on 11 October. The company was ordered to pay costs of £15,802 and fined £5,000.

The developer had planning permission to build homes on the site, part of which was the conversion of the stableblock to two homes. This was on the condition that the building, which was considered to make a positive contribution to the Chorleywood Common conservation area, be retained. However, the building was left with only two walls standing, which the Council considered to be demolition.

Councillor Martin Trevett said:

"Protection of the green belt and conservation areas in our district is so important to help preserve it for the future, and we will not tolerate unlawful demolition such as this. We are very pleased about this successful prosecution; there are many important historical buildings in the district and we are prepared to take strong action, up to and including legal action, to ensure such buildings are retained."

Two-thirds of Three Rivers district is Green Belt land, and there are 17 conservation areas in the district. Conservation areas are places of special architectural or historic interest, which the Council considers worthy of protection. There are also five Local Nature Reserves in the district.