Build ’em Up, Knock ’em Down

Back to micro, micro #hyperlocal events around my patch – which can only mean one issue: Mr Mukesh Andani and his planning permission-less eyesore on the corner of Crewdson Road and the Clap’ham Road.

The top floor remains, along with the scaffolding, as well as ‘Mukesh Andani‘ appearing in m’blog stats as the highest search over the past two weeks. Watching you, watching me, watching you, etc.

In the absence of any desire from our friends at the award winning @lambeth_council planning department to actually implement the judgement for Mr Andani to demolish the top floor, as passed some six months ago, I thought I would see what my local councillors could do about the matter:

4th February 2010

Hi there

Not at all a criticism of you guys, but do you think the planning department has forgotten about Mr Mukesh Andani?

It really is disgraceful that he can continue to flout the law in such a public manner.

Many thanks

Jason Cobb

Face to face contact with my local councillors is lovely, and indeed it does happen at the most unlikely opportunities. But the Liberal lot here at The Oval are also rather good at responding, and acting, upon email communication.

The opening up of the Inbox on Friday morning, and the following mail dropped:

Hi Jason – latest on the Clapham Road planning problem. It gives the full saga of appeals, enforcement notices and further legal action likely:

Dear Councillor Banks

The building you refer to in your enquiry below is 61 Clapham Road. An enforcement notice was served with respect to the property requiring the removal of the additional storey and the uPVC windows erected on the front elevation at basement level. The owner of the premises submitted a retrospective planning application for the retention of the works but this was refused so an appeal was lodged. The appeal was subsequently dismissed and consequently the owner was required to comply with the notice. Further to failed attempts to get the owner to comply with the notice, prosecution proceedings were instigated last year and the owner was convicted on 10 August 2009 in Inner London Crown Court where he was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay the council £2,571 in costs.

Further to this prosecution, the enforcement team has been in contact with the owner in an attempt to secure compliance with the enforcement notice. Some progress has been made – scaffolding has been re-erected on the property [um, yeah – window dressing, in every sense] and I also understand that the top floor flat has been vacated in anticipation of undertaking the remedial works. I recently informed the owner of my concerns about the progress of remedial works and notified him that a second prosecution will be forthcoming if progress is not satisfactory. I understand that they intend to commence demolition within the next [edied at the request of @cllrrobbankss – rest assured, the date is in my diary] however I am mindful of previous failures to abide by their undertakings and consequently I am preparing a second prosecution file in the event that the works are not commenced.

I hope the above information is useful.

Senior Planning Enforcement Officer
Planning Division
Housing, Regeneration & Environment
London Borough of Lambeth

So progress, if not necessarily on the property itself, but hopefully behind the scenes. As if the un-licensed top floor wasn’t enough of an eyesore, the tatty scaffolding really is a blot on the SW8 landscape.

Year 6

Mindful of some major event happening in the Rotten Borough come May time, I thought in the interest of fairness, it would only be polite to ask our friends from the Labour party in The Oval ward, what they would do if elected (Tories around here are AWOL):

4th February 2010

Hi there

If elected, what would you do as Councillors to resolve the continuing flouting of planning permission that is taking place on the Clapham Road / Crewdson Road corner?

It seems that local residents are suffering with the eyesore, whereas the landlord has been let off.

Many thanks

Jason Cobb

Here’s the response:

Big empty nothing

Yep, no reply from the candidates who are campaigning for my vote in a couple of months time. I think my ballot box decision has just been made a whole lot easier.

To be fair, Lambeth Labour in The Oval ward is not democratically accountable. The good @cllrrobbanks has responsibilities, which he has rightfully acted upon. But in the absence of any offline door knocking from the Labour lot, an online reply would have been nice.

I wonder if they do the door knocking thing on the corner of Crewdson Road / Clap’ham Road?

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