Companies found guilty after turning three bedroom Harlesden house into six flats
- Credit: Archant
A pair of companies that converted a family home into micro flats have been found guilty of breaching a planning enforcement notice.
The owners of the house, Wise Estates (UK) Ltd, and Manlow Property Management Ltd, which managed the premises in Stonebridge Park, Harlesden, converted the three bedroom house into six studio flats without planning permission.
Brent Council issued the owners and managers with a notice in February 2015 after receiving complaints from residents.
The two companies were ordered to convert it back to a three bedroom house by September the same year, but failed to comply.
This week Willesden Magistrates Court confirmed both were in breach of the enforcement notice.
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The judge then committed the case to Harrow Crown Court for confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Brent Council described the conviction as a success for its enforcement team which has a zero tolerance policy towards breaches in planning law and rogue landlords.
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Cllr Harbi Farah, cabinet member for housing and welfare reform, said: “Planning permission would not have been granted for this type of conversion because of the over intensive use of the available living space.
“The illegal flats were very cramped and conditions were below standard. This planning breach resulted in the loss of a family home.”
Brent and the Mayor of London’s standards require studio flats to cover at least 37 square metres. The illegally converted studio flats in Stonebridge Park ranged from eight to 12 square metres.
Cllr Farah added: “The reason for the size policy is to ensure that Brent retains small scale family housing of which there is a significant shortage.
“It also ensures new flats are of a good size quality, provide good amenity to the occupants and are not overcrowded.”
Most of the tenants in the flats have now left the property.