Illegal listed building work leads to prosecution

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Illegal listed building work leads to prosecution

A homeowner and his building contractor have been hit with fines and a hefty legal bill for causing 'irreversible changes' to a Grade II-listed building.

The unauthorised changes to the 18th century Le Rette Cottage, in Netherfield Hill, near Battle, included replacing roof timbers and tiles and altering the property extension resulting in a shallower roof pitch.

Following a prosecution by Rother District Council, the owner, Oliver Maynard, admitted four charges of causing works to be executed for the alteration of a listed building without obtaining the proper consent from the council.

Meanwhile, builder Wayne Carley, of Fryman's Lane, Brede, pleaded guilty to four charges of making alterations to a listed building without consent.

In a hearing at Hastings Magistrates' Court, Maynard, 38, was fined £400 and Carley, 46, received a £2,000 fine, while each was ordered to pay £1,800 towards the council's legal costs.

Maynard told the court he applied for planning permission and listed building consent for the property, but made errors and was 'naive' in doing works that weren't authorised, while Carley accepted he had made mistakes while carrying out remedial work to the extension on the east of the property.

Both defendants made early guilty pleas to the offences when questioned and said they were keen to rectify what they had done wrong.

Cllr Gillian Johnson, Rother District Council cabinet member for strategic planning, said: "Listed buildings are listed for a reason, and form an important part of our heritage.

"Making changes to a listed building without the proper permission is a criminal offence and we take such unauthorised works very seriously indeed.

"We do welcome the fact that the two defendants in this case admitted their guilt at an early opportunity, but this prosecution should stand as a warning to others.

"We would strongly urge anyone considering carrying out alterations to a listed building to seek the advice of the council before carrying out any work."

Published on Wednesday, June 6 2018

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