High Court rules homes must be knocked down

MCHG 12-757   Councillor Terry Douris at Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead.
MCHG 12-757 Councillor Terry Douris at Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead.

A couple must demolish their home after it was built in the Green Belt without planning permission.

Two properties in Sheethanger Lane, Felden will be flattened after owners lost a High Court bid to save them. The second home – part of a terrace of five properties – is owned by development company Thorne Barton Estates Ltd.

Dacorum Borough Council issued enforcement notices in 2010 for the two homes to be demolished, and a planning appeal confirmation has now been upheld by a High Court judge. The owners have until December 21 to knock them down.

Councillor Terry Douris, who oversees planning and regeneration, said: “This is an unfortunate situation where someone has constructed a dwelling without first obtaining planning permission and as a result, the owners will have to demolish their properties.

“The High Court ruling sends out a clear message that inappropriate development will not be allowed and when discovered appropriate action will be taken.”

The other three properties within the terrace, which also faced demolition, have been saved because the judge accepted that the central three homes were the result of extensions and conversions to the existing development, rather than demolition and rebuilding.