Peter’s in the frame for massive legal bill after High Court windows ruling
BUSINESSMAN Peter Taylor is facing a huge legal bill after a three-year fight to avoid replacing windows in his Grade-II listed cottage ended in failure at the High Court.
Fenland District Council approved enforcement action against Mr Taylor in 2010, a year after he bought the 19th Century terraced house in New Road, Chatteris.
The council wanted him to replace the four plastic windows with original wooden ones - work which would have cost more than �4,000.
After a failed appeal last year, and a High Court ruling on Wednesday, Mr Taylor is still required to pay for window replacements - but now this bill will be alongside legal costs of more than �4,000.
He said: “I have been victimised by Fenland District Council - they have been unreasonable from start to finish.
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“It must have cost the council more to go through all this than if they had just given me a grant to do the windows.”
Mr Taylor, who represented himself at the High Court, used a leaflet from 1986 as evidence. The document, which was verified as genuine by Maxey Grounds & Co estate agents, appeared to show that the windows were not original then.
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The property was listed in 1983 and Mr Taylor claims that, even at that time, the original windows may not have been in place.
The 58-year-old, who runs a second-hand goods shop, also insists that other listed properties in the town with similar windows have been spared enforcement notices.
“I’ve been singled out,” he said. “None of the other properties have been served enforcement notices. There’s no consistency.
“I think I must have more than 30 letters from Fenland District Council asking me to replace my windows. It’s just a ludicrous situation. Have you ever seen so much paperwork for such a load of rubbish?
“The mental stress of it all has been huge, as is the time I have spent looking at bits of paper about my windows.
“I’m 58 but I feel like I’m 108 after this.”
A council spokesman said: “There is no question of us singling Mr Taylor out. We followed the normal planning process and the Planning Inspectorate subsequently backed us up.
“Mr Taylor’s appeal in the High Court was against the Inspectorate’s ruling - we had no part in that.”