You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Couple used FAKE garage door and fences to hide secret extra home from planning inspectors after unauthorised conversion

Mirror logo Mirror 12/02/2018 Dave Owen

The couple used a false garage door to hid the unauthorised conversion The couple used a false garage door to hid the unauthorised conversion A couple who converted their garage into a secret home used fences and a FAKE door to hide it from planning inspectors.

Dr Reeta Herzallah and Hamdi Almasri were slapped with a fine after using the false door to conceal another doorway and window to the building in Enderby, Leicestershire, despite planning authorities refusing permission.

Council officials found a raft of planning breaches after launching an investigation in October 2015 following reports of unauthorised work being carried out on the couple's property.

The pair now face having to restore the garage to its original use after being convicted in their absence at Leicester Magistrates' Court.

a house with trees in the background: Credits: Blaby District Council © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Blaby District Council Speaking after the hearing, a spokesman for the planning authority told the Leicester Mercury : "The development included the conversion of their garage to habitable accommodation and the erection of fencing, preventing off street parking at the property. 

"The couple also undertook illegal works within the highway and created an unauthorised vehicle access onto the busy B4114 dual carriageway."

These works resulted in a Breach of Condition Notice being served on both Dr Herzallah and Mr Almasri under Section 171 D (1) of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990.

Planning permission granted for the original housing development in 2007 included conditions stating that car parking facilities, including the garage, should permanently remain available to ease potential on-street parking issues.

a brick building: Credits: Blaby District Council © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Blaby District Council Further planning permission was also required to build the driveway.

A Blaby District Council spokesman said: "Our enforcement team were first made aware of the breaches in October 2015 and made numerous approaches to Dr Herzallah and Mr Almasri to resolve the matter.

"A retrospective planning application to retain the works was submitted by the defendants in July 2016 but was refused and subsequently dismissed on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate in February 2017."

He added: "After further correspondence from the council, some remedial works were undertaken by the defendants in May and June of 2017, which included the removal of fencing.

"Inspections by officers in July and August 2017 confirmed, however, that the garage had not been restored to its approved use, with the inserted door and window concealed by a propped up garage door.

"A final site visit in November 2017 confirmed that the required works to the garage had still not been undertaken, following we sought prosecution for the offence."

The defendants were each ordered by magistrates to pay a £770 fine, legal costs of £1,252, and a £77 victim surcharge.

The garage in Old Church Road will have to be restored to its original use.

Commenting on the case, Coun 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."

She added: "We will be following up the successful prosecution with a further visit to ensure that all the requirements of the Breach of Condition Notice are fully complied with."

For more of the most popular News, Sport, Lifestyle & Entertainment on MSN, Follow us on Facebook, and on Twitter

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from The Mirror

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon