Owners told ‘pull down extension’ blighting Spitalfields conservation

Developers carrying out illegal extensions to a building in a conservation area of London’s East End have had to demolish the work they did and return the property to its original state.

A raft of unlawful work was carried out on the property at Hanbury Street in Spitalfields (pictured), resulting in three new extensions suddenly added on, overlooking neighbouring properties—which Tower Hamlets Council said “blighted the conservation area.”

The property had been split into three flats without planning consent, by adding extensions to the second and third floors and the roof.

Proceedings began in 2008 against Robert and Stephen Morris after neighbours complained. The Planning Inspectorate dismissed their appeal against an Enforcement Notice requiring them to pull down the extensions.

But they failed to do this within the five-month compliance period and were fined �15,500 including costs in a hearing at Snaresbrook crown court on December 2. The unlawful work had eventually been demolished last summer.

“The development has been returned to an acceptable standard in a conservation area,” a Town Hall spokesman said. “It is now in accordance with its planning consent.”

Unauthorized work was also carried out by another developer on a two-storey derelict pub a mile away in Shadwell, which was converted to flats and a pool hall. That also led to court action, fines totalling almost �20,000—and the work having to be put right.