Cou­ple fined for ‘se­cret house’ hid­den in garage

Evening Times - - NEWS -

A COU­PLE who duped coun­cil plan­ners by build­ing a house dis­guised as a garage have been fined more than £1000.

Sneaky Dr Reeta Herza­l­lah, 37, and Hamdi Al­masri, 39, built the tiny de­tached prop­erty by con­vert­ing an old garage.

To get round plan­ning laws, they con­cealed the dwelling be­hind a fake garage door.

A court heard how the cou­ple – who have been un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Blaby Dis­trict Coun­cil since Oc­to­ber 2015 – also used a fence to hide the house in En­derby, Le­ices­ter­shire.

After fail­ing to at­tend court or en­ter pleas, they were con­victed at Le­ices­ter Mag­is­trates Court of a raft of plan­ning breaches.

They were each or­dered to pay a £770 fine for breach­ing the or­ders, le­gal costs of £1252, and a £77 vic­tim sur­charge. They will also have to re­store the garage to its for­mer use.

It was also heard how the tricky cou­ple had cre­ated an unau­tho­rised ve­hi­cle ac­cess onto the busy B4114 dual car­riage­way road.

After re­ceiv­ing re­ports of the breaches in Oc­to­ber 2015, Blaby Dis­trict Coun­cil ap­proached Herza­l­lah and Al­masri in an at­tempt to rec­tify the sit­u­a­tion.

The pair is­sued a ret­ro­spec­tive plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion in July 2016, but this was re­jected and dis­missed on ap­peal by the Plan­ning In­spec­torate in Fe­bru­ary last year.

In May and June, they un­der­took some “re­me­dial works” which in­cluded re­mov­ing some of the ex­cess fenc­ing.

How­ever, fol­low-up in­spec­tions in July, Au­gust and Novem­ber, showed that no work had been done to the garage, lead­ing the coun­cil to seek prose­cu­tion.

Tory Coun­cil­lor Sheila Scott, the coun­cil’s cabi­net mem­ber for plan­ning, said: “The mes­sage from this case is clear. If you breach plan­ning reg­u­la­tions and ig­nore us, we will not just go away.

“Cre­at­ing an ac­cess onto the busy B4114 and block­ing off valu­able off-road park­ing space was com­pletely un­ac­cept­able.”

The house in Le­ices­ter­shire was hid­den by a fake garage door in an at­tempt to get round plan­ning laws

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.