Chiswick Councillors get tough on unlawful development

Chiswick residents and businesses must follow the law on planning issues or face enforcement action, Councillors warned at the latest Area Planning Committee on Tuesday 14 January. The Councillors spoke out after agreeing eight actions, including the demolition of the shop-front of the Sun Raj Indian restaurant, reduction of a roof extension and removal of a number of satellite dishes.

Almost 50% of Chiswick is covered by Conservation Area Status, which means there are tougher planning restrictions in place, and the restrictions are often toughened further by the presence of Article 4 Directions, which remove many ‘permitted development rights’ that would normally allow householders to make changes to their properties without requiring planning permission.

Cllr Peter Thompson (pictured left), Chair of the Area Planning Committee, said, “Planning is one of those areas which is covered by a multitude of laws and guidelines which can become quite complex, but that it no reason to disregard them. In most cases the rules are in place to ensure everyone can appreciate their homes and surroundings without the detrimental impact of unlawful buildings, developments or eyesores.

The Planners and Committee Councillors take a very dim of those who try to circumvent the system and are quite prepared to beginning enforcement proceedings to ensure that the rules are followed. It’s very important that Chiswick residents who live in a Conservation Area are aware of the planning restrictions on their home, because it can become expensive and time-consuming once enforcement actions begins.”

Although it is not a criminal offence to carry out development without the benefit of planning permission, the Planning Enforcement Team will investigate any such allegations and if substantiated ask the owner/occupier to either remedy or regularise the breach of planning control. If nothing is done, and the unauthorised development remains in place, formal enforcement action may be taken against the unauthorised development.

January 16, 2003

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