A property built without planning consent and then illegally let to a family has been knocked down by Ealing council in West London - and the owner has been sent the bill for the demolition job.
Rapinder Kaur Sehajpal has been sent an invoice for £16,000 after ignoring requests to demolish it himself.
The council says the 45 square metre outbuilding had been built without planning permission and then illegally let.
In May 2017 the council’s planning enforcement team received a tip off that the outbuilding at the rear of the property was being used illegally; in December of that year the council issued a planning enforcement notice on the outbuilding, ordering the landlord to stop letting it and demolish it.
An appeal by Sehajpal failed but on a visit to the site in January 2019 planning officers found the outbuilding still in place, although it was no longer being lived in.
Sepajhal failed to comply with the enforcement notice and the council stepped in. The demolition took place late last year but has only just been revealed by the council.
A spokesperson says: “This gentleman chose to ignore repeated requests to obey the law, continuing to rent out this illegally-build outhouse. It is totally unacceptable in a modern, civilised society for a cramped building at the bottom of a garden to be used as a family home.
“As we have seen in many cases across the capital, illegal outbuildings are damaging to our neighbourhoods and pose a very real health hazard for those living in them. I am therefore pleased to see a robust approach to enforcement in this case, with Mr Sehajpal paying a heavy price for flouting planning regulations.
“Over the past decade, we have investigated almost 10,000 planning breaches. Although many cases can be resolved informally, we often have no choice but to take action, and in that period we issued more than 1,300 planning contravention notices and almost 1,000 enforcement notices. We will not hesitate to pursue the strongest possible measures to keep our communities safe.”