A property developer, who built a block of 11 flats although he only had planning permission for nine, has failed to convince the High Court that he should escape having to demolish the top floor of the building.
Andy Koumis was granted planning permission in 2005 to build a block of nine flats in Hazelwood Lane, London NW13. The London Borough of Enfield took the view that the block of 11 flats he built exceeded a height limitation contained within the permission.
The council refused to grant him retrospective planning permission and issued an enforcement notice requiring that he part-demolish the building to bring it into line with the permission.
Mr Koumis’ appealed to a government planning inspector, who dismissed his case. The Secretary for State for Communities and Local Government later conceded that that inspector’s decision was flawed and should not stand. A second inspector reconsidered the case but again found against the developer.
Mr Koumis asked Mr Justice Warren to quash that latest decision. However the judge dismissed his appeal, leaving him to face the prospect of having to remove the building’s top floor and evict the tenants of the two unauthorised flats.
Ruling that the second inspector was entitled to conclude as he did, the judge said: ‘What the inspector makes quite clear here is that, as to character and appearance, the mass, shape and height of the roof are unacceptable and that the enforcement notice would, if complied with, lead to significant reductions, resulting in a less prominent and a more appropriate building for the area.
‘These are conclusions which are founded upon the major unacceptable features of the building. In my view the inspector was fully entitled to take a broad brush approach to those general features. The planning advantages that the inspector identified would be lost if planning permission were given for the development as built.’
Mr Koumis was ordered to pay the Secretary of State’s legal costs.