December 7 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 7, 2012
FURIOUS councillors have threatened legal action against a home owner who altered a historic wall next to a Grade II listed building.
Mitchell Kitts, planning compliance officer with Fenland District Council, said it was “reasonable, necessary and expedient” to take formal enforcement action.
And he got backing from the council’s planning committee for his stance which could lead to prosecution if the wall is not restored.
Mr Kitts told the planning committee that the wall, on land at 62a West End, March, and within the town’s conservation area, was taken down last summer. It was removed so that garden land could accommodate buildings materials during the construction of a two storey extension.
“The removal of the wall in these circumstances requires the permission of the council and, in this instance, formal permission for removal was neither sought nor grant,” said Mr Kitts.
However a new wall has been built five metres back from the original boundary line, and that has been described by Mr Kitts as introducing a “stark visually intrusive element” in the street scene.
His report to the committee said that “the original boundary wall represents an attractive, historical feature worthy of preservation.
“This new addition to the historic environment fails to complement or integrate with the established vernacular, characteristic of the conservation area”.
Mr Kitts said that although the home owner had agreed that the wall would be fully reinstated once the extension was complete it has not happened.
“It is felt that the wall is of such historical importance that it should be afforded the added protection of a formal notice,” he said.
By moving to enforcement Mr Kitts said the council would be able to stipulate exactly how the wall should be reinstated and what materials are used “rather than leaving the overall look of the development to chance”.