December 10 2013 Latest news:
Story by: ANDREW PAPWORTH
Monday, September 3, 2012
A BUSINESSMAN threatened with legal action if he did not fit new windows at his Grade II Listed home has been left fuming after the council delivered a last-minute reprieve to a larger 18th Century house in the same situation.
Peter Taylor accused Fenland District Council of “double standards” after it saved Kent House, in Black Horse Lane, Chatteris, from replacing 23 uPVC windows while a “root and branch review of windows policy” is carried out.
Just weeks earlier Mr Taylor had signed a legal agreement to restore four windows at his own property in New Road, Chatteris to their original condition after a two year fight including a High Court battle which he lost.
“I think it’s double standards,” Mr Taylor said. “I want to know how many people they’ve prosecuted because it seems that I’m one of the only one they’ve noticed.”
However a spokesman for Fenland District Council said: “There are no double standards.
“Decisions on enforcement are taken by the Planning Committee. We have made it clear to Mr Taylor what action the committee has decided is required in his case and that has not changed.
“As regards Kent House, the committee has decided to postpone any enforcement action pending further negotiation.”
Mr Taylor informed FDC’s planning committee in June that they had missed a number of properties with non-original windows and said it was being inconsistent in its enforcement proceedings.
“It sees me as easy prey,” he said. “I’ve been singled out for the last three years when it’s missing one of the oldest buildings in Chatteris.”
In an email to councillors, council leader Alan Melton said he was “not advocating a free for all” but that the authority should “listen to conservationists, local agents, national and local manufacturers”.
“New technologies and designs have greatly altered to structure and appearance of materials,” he said.
Mr Taylor added: “I agree with everything Cllr Melton has said but it is what I was saying two years ago.
“It is two years too late.”