Developers warned after appeal fails

Kevin Snow29th October 2013

A developer’s failed appeal to the High Court on Friday (25 October) has prompted a fresh warning to building firms from Three Rivers District Council.

Council planners had issued a Stop Notice to Mr David Lewis in 2012 after he breached the terms of his planning permission to build three houses in Quickley Lane, Chorleywood. Instead of building two-bedroom homes, Mr Lewis was found to be building three larger, three-bedroom properties.

Last year Mr Lewis admitted at St Albans Magistrates Court to building dwellings which were higher and wider than permitted by his planning permission. Mr Lewis explained in court that the larger homes would have sold for an extra £20,000 than those for which planning permission was granted.

Mr Lewis pleaded guilty to six offences of breaching the Council’s Stop Notice and was fined a total of £21,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £1,556 and a victim surcharge of £15.

Later in 2012, Mr Lewis appealed unsuccessfully against the sentence to St Albans Crown Court and was ordered to pay costs of £2,280 to Three Rivers District Council. Mr Lewis then took his appeal to the High Court which was dismissed on Friday.

Three Rivers’ cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Martin Trevett, said:

"We are committed to protecting our towns and villages by enforcing planning law. Let this be a warning to any developer in the district who thinks they might flout the law and get away with it."

The High Court has ordered Mr Lewis to pay the District Council's costs of £3,855.

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