Published on Thursday 23 November 2023
A Christchurch resident was ordered to pay around £93,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of two Planning Enforcement Notices and a court finding that he had benefitted from criminal conduct.
Ian Kendall, of Burley Road, attended Southampton Crown Court last week (Wednesday 15 November) for sentencing and the making of a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
This order allows for the confiscation of money and assets if it can be demonstrated they have been acquired from a criminal activity.
The successful prosecution follows five years' work by BCP’s planning enforcement team, together with colleagues from Law and Governance and Trading Standards.
The prosecution followed Mr Kendall’s decision to rent out an unlawful dwelling and build an unlawful extension to his property; both of which were without planning permission.
The court ruled that Mr Kendall had benefitted from his criminal conduct and awarded a confiscation order in the sum of £77,133.58.
Mr Kendall was also fined £8,000 for the planning offences and ordered to pay costs to BCP Council of £7,877.84, making a total of £93,011.42.
Mr Kendall originally had a detached garage which was lawfully converted into a dwelling known as The Barn, 41A Burley Road. In February 2016, he applied for planning permission to extend this building.
These plans were rejected by the council’s planning team, as the proposed extension was too large. A fresh application was made, which was then approved.
In 2018, planning enforcement officers found that Mr Kendall had in fact built a larger extension than the one he was given permission for.
At a similar time, officers discovered that Mr Kendall had also extended another property he owned, and without any planning permission had created a separate dwelling known as 41B Burley Road.
Retrospective planning applications for both the unlawful dwellings were refused and Enforcement Notices issued. Each notice gave Mr Kendall six months to comply with the requirements.
Mr Kendall appealed against both notices; but the appeals were dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate.
Throughout this process, Mr Kendall continued to rent out the unlawful dwelling and occupied the unlawful extension, profiting from his activity.
Because of this and following a successful prosecution for failure to comply with the Enforcement Notices, BCP Council requested the case be transferred to the Crown Court for the making of a confiscation order under POCA.
Cllr Millie Earl, BCP Council’s Portfolio Holder for Connected Communities said:
"This is a fantastic result for the council and one which sends an important message.
"Our Planning Team works hard to enable people to improve their homes, but we all have a responsibility to make sure these improvements do not break the rules.
"Profiting from letting out unlawfully built dwellings is not only illegal, but unfair on tenants who have the right to live in a legal and safe home.
"I want to thank the dedicated officers in our Planning Enforcement and Legal teams for their hard work.
"I hope the huge amount of money confiscated in this case shows just how far we are willing to go to ensure these important regulations are always followed."