Time to return to an old theme around my little patch of South London. Regular readers may remember the outlandish case of the local landlord who takes a laissez faire approach to planning permission. It seems however that @lambeth_council has completely forgotten all about Mukesh Andani.
Mr Andani waved two fingers in the air to local authority planning permission, and then added an extra storey to his rented property on the corner of Clap’ham Road and Crewdson Road. Our friends at Lambeth Council clocked the error, probably on account of Mr Andani having past form on forgetting to apply for planning permission at Stockwell Green.
A £10,000 fine was imposed, and the threat of a six-month jail sentence loomed. Mr Andani was instructed to remove the part of his property that was built without planning permission. And so six months in the clink, or the restoration of the Clap’ham Road / Crewdson Road corner, back in line with the conservation status that other residents so rightfully respect.
Six months is a useful time frame to focus upon here. It was this exact same time span when the story was first reported. Three months later, and Mr Andani erected some scaffolding on the property.
I trust this isn’t a ruse to confuse those oh so clever people at Lambeth Council, I jested at the time. Three months later and the scaffolding remains, as does the top floor of the flat. The army of builders are as absent as the missing planning permission.
Someone is carefully monitoring the situation. I know this because ‘Mukesh Andani‘ has been the top search on m’blog for the past three months. I don’t think it is the award winning Lambeth Council Planning Applications department though.
It’s official. Lambeth Council’s planning department is tops for turning applications around in record time. Councillor Lib Peck, Lambeth Council cabinet member for housing and regeneration said: “This is fantastic news.
The fact that the service has turned around from a once failing service into one that is a top performer, is testament to the hard work and dedication of planning officers and the good work of the planning committee”.
I’m sure Mukesh Andani shares the same enthusiasm for the Lambeth Council planning department as the good Councillor Lib Peck. A three-month scaffolding bill must be the better option when compared to a six-month jail sentence.
The real losers here are the local people of SW8. The scaffolding is more of an eyesore than the extra storey. It’s now started to come loose, making the Clap’ham Road conservation area appear rather shabby.
And so in the interest of the user(s) searching m’blog for ‘Mukesh Andani,’ I shall continue to monitor the Clap’ham Road / Crewdson Road corner at regular intervals. Three months from now, and Mr Andani may even be waving two fingers in the air at a brand new administration in the Rotten Borough.