Photos: Folkestone and Hythe District Council

Illegal work to a listed building in Hythe has cost a tenant more than £2,000.

Folkestone Magistrates’ Court heard on 20 September that the original Victorian window and surrounds at 31-33 High Street were replaced with a black aluminium shopfront with standard rectangular glazing.

The work was carried out between July 2018 and October 2020, and the defendant submitted retrospective applications for planning permission and listed building consent to Folkestone & Hythe District Council in January 2021.

Both were rejected, with the council saying that the replacement windows had a negative impact on the Grade II listed property and detracted from the historic character of the surrounding area.

G&S Enterprise Ltd were found guilty of an offence contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. They were ordered to pay a fine of £2,000, a victim surcharge of £170 and costs of £180, totalling £2,350.

F&HDC’s Cabinet Member for Enforcement, Regulatory Services, Waste and Building Control Cllr Stuart Peall said: “Thankfully prosecutions like this are rare, but this case proves that we take the flouting of planning regulations – especially where a listed building is concerned – very seriously.”

A spokesman for the council said: “It (the window) has not been reinstated as yet – we would take further formal enforcement action should an appropriate window not be installed at the location.”

By Ed

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