Council secures conviction for damage to listed building
Published on 18th February 2011
Cheltenham Borough Council has successfully taken legal action following unauthorised works to a listed building in the town centre.
The result, this month, is the outcome of two years of investigation by the planning enforcement and conservation teams, securing a conviction against the then owner, Peter James Caldwell, a chartered surveyor.
The listed building, 24 Promenade, was the subject of extensive internal alterations which Mr Caldwell carried out without first obtaining consent from the council.
The unauthorised works resulted in the stripping out of historic building fabric and partitions across three floors without notification or justification, which is a criminal offence under the Planning ( Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
Following a short trial and then changing his plea to guilty, the court convicted and fined Mr Caldwell. In addition, Mr Caldwell was ordered to pay the council £3,000 towards its prosecution costs.
Councillor John Rawson, Cabinet member for built environment, says: "This verdict demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that breaches of planning control do not go unpunished, and that those responsible are brought to account."
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Cheltenham 's nationally recognised historic environment includes over 2,500 listed buildings which form the backbone of the towns built environment of today. These buildings are of high architectural interest and the Local Planning Authority considers them of utmost importance and protects them for future use.
Cheltenham Magistrates Court heard of the 17 separate charges brought against Mr Caldwell by the Local Planning Authority on 8 February 2011 .
The case was complex and scheduled for a two day hearing.