Success Stories

Enforcement Notice prosecution draws to a close after 5 years

By David Sonn  |  23.01.2024

Sonn Macmillan Walker represented E Ltd, which in 2021 pleaded guilty to the third identical breach of an enforcement notice issued in 2014, requiring the unlawful side extension of a residential investment property to be demolished. The company also admitted breaching a 2018 enforcement notice concerning the same property.

The company was committed to the Snaresbrook Crown Court for sentence to enable a confiscation order to be made. Those proceedings became protracted for a variety of reasons including Covid and the death of the almost 90 year old director of the company.

The local authority’s opening position was that the benefit figure was approximately £364k. It was contended on behalf of our client that the benefit figure was approximately £82k. By the time the matter was listed for a final hearing in January 2024, the local authority had reduced its benefit calculation to approximately £229k.

The Judge presiding at the final hearing, urged the parties to negotiate further and, in particular, urged the local authority to reconsider its approach to calculating the rental benefit attributable to the unlawful side extension. The parties agreed a benefit figure (including inflationary increase) of £100,000. The company was also fined £12,000 and ordered to pay the local authority’s costs.

The company was pleased that the confiscation order was made in broadly the same sum that it had contended for – which was less than one third of the sum originally sought by the local authority.

David Sonn had conduct of the case throughout including as solicitor advocate at the final hearing.

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