Penthouse apartment built on top of former care home is torn down
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St Clements Court in New Parks, Leicester, was turned into 74 flats but landlord Munjit Dulay added two further penthouse flats on top of two of the apartment blocks without applying for planning permission. The additional flats brought in a further £1,000 rent between them but, when the council found out, it took action against his company MB Estates.
Dulay was taken to court and, in January this year, was given a four-month jail sentence suspended for six months.
Judge Richard Hedley told Dulay the flats had to be demolished by Sunday July 17, or the sentence would be activated and Dulay would be jailed.
And now the two penthouses in New Parks, Leicester, have been torn down.
The former care home was turned into flats in 2012, reports Leicestershire Live.
Speaking earlier this year, Jonathan Manning, barrister for Leicester City Council, said: “This has now been going on a very long time. It’s not really suggested anything was done to comply with the injunction and it was only in August he accepted that he was going to have to demolish those properties at all.
“The company has been renting the penthouses and stringing along the authority and the court while taking no steps to demolish the penthouses. Mr Dulay and his company have never taken seriously the requirement to demolish the properties or comply with the order.”
MB Estates ignored demands that the penthouses be gone by March 6, 2018.
The council then got a court order in May 2019 and, though Dulay promised the court he would get the penthouses demolished, he instead re-let both of the apartments at least once – and collected £455 a month for one and £600 a month for the other.
The council, controlled by the Labour Party since 2007, called the work a “very poor development”.
Deputy city mayor Councillor Piara Singh Clair said: “Thanks to the persistence of council officers this matter has finally been resolved and the owner has removed what was a very poor development, built without planning permission in a flagrant breach of planning control.
“This case shows that ignoring and seeking to evade enforcement proceedings will lead to consequences such as large fines and potentially a prison sentence if the council’s requirements are not followed.”
As well as the sentence, MB Estates was fined £25,000, with Dulay paying the city council’s legal costs of £4,129.
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