Judge hurts landlord in pocket for flouting planning rules

A Southall landlord who illegally converted a family house and garden outbuilding into six substandard flats has been ordered to hand over more than £66,000 after a London borough secured a confiscation order under proceeds of crime legislation.

Garden building: used as an additional flat
Garden building: used as an additional flat

Burphinder Singh Gill, of 385 Lady Margaret Road, Southall, failed to comply with an enforcement notice issued by the London Borough of Ealing's planning enforcement team in 2009.

The notice required the owner to cease to use the semi-detached house as five flats and a garden building as an additional flat, and the removal of all en-suite kitchenettes and internal partitions.

A planning inspector upheld the council's enforcement notice after the landlord appealed, but extended the compliance period to 12 months. The period to comply with the notice expired in January 2011.

The London Borough of Ealing prosecuted Gill, who pleaded guilty in the magistrates' court to the planning offence between 26 January 2011 and 24 July 2013.

Last week, sentencing and confiscation took place at Isleworth Crown Court. A confiscation order was made for £66,325 under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The landlord was also ordered to pay £4,765 in costs and given an 18-month conditional discharge.

He has six months to pay the order or else face 18 months imprisonment.

The judge who sentenced the landlord stated: "Your property was subdivided into flats which you knew you shouldn't do. The reason you did it was greed. An enforcement notice was issued and you were given the chance to remove the flats and put the property back in order, but you refused to take that chance.

"As a result you have paid heavily already financially by the confiscation order made, and the costs order. That will hurt you in the pocket. I aim to ensure that it does not happen again."

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