Council planners dismiss ‘caravan’ claim

A Peckham resident who claimed a first floor extension he was building out of wood was actually a ‘caravan’ has been told he will have to take it down and stop any further works -writes Southwark Council

Trevor Hadjimina from 19 Relf Road, Peckham, started to build the timber structure in May last year without applying for planning permission.

Planners at Southwark Council applied to the high court for an injunction - the most serious tool that planning authorities can use for breaches of planning control as breaching an injunction can result in contempt of court - to seek removal of the structure along with two other breaches.

When the case was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice, the defendant’s argument was that rather than a first floor extension, the structure was a caravan and therefore did not need planning permission.

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The judge agreed with the council, and the injunction gives Mr Hadjimina two months to remove all works in breach of planning control, and also not to carry out any works to the property without first seeking consent.

A council spokesperson said: “It is essential that anyone wanting to make improvements or additions to their property goes through the right channels so we can ensure the work is safe and does not have a negative impact on the area and neighbouring properties. Our planning enforcement team will take appropriate action against anyone who is seen to be flouting the rules.”

The timber structure is the latest in a long line of planning breaches at the property stretching back around 10 years, including several attempts at creating a first floor extension.

Previous breaches included the raising of walls that the council had previously reduced in height following an enforcement notice in 2012, and the erection of a timber and Perspex shelter to the side of the property in May 2017.

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