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Barking homeowner ordered to pay thousands and tear down extension after 15-year planning row

Rachael Burford
Laurence Hill's illegal extension

A homeowner has been ordered to pay almost £17,000 and tear down part of his house after a 15-year planning dispute.

Laurence Hill was refused planning permission for the first floor rear extension to his home in Barking in 2005.

He appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, who also ruled he could not add to the property.

But almost a decade later, in 2014, Barking and Dagenham council became aware he had built the extra rooms anyway.

Hill was ordered to tear down the extension but refused.

After a five-year legal battle with the council he was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £1,660 in costs at Barking magistrates’ court on January 10.

Margaret Mullane, cabinet council member for enforcement, said: “Sometimes those that flout the rules will do all they can to drag out the legal process — in this case almost 15 years. However, that won’t deter us from taking you on.”

Hill has three months to pay the fine and take down the extension.

A council spokesman said that if he does not do so, it will be removed under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

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