Landowner fined for making unauthorised changes to listed building

103 Bow Road, unauthorised extension

The unauthorised extension at 103 Bow Road

A landowner who carried out unauthorised works to a listed building has been fined £20,000 after failing to comply with an enforcement notice. 

The Council’s Planning Compliance Team investigated the alterations at 103 Bow Road which included the construction of a rear extension and installation of a uPVC window without Listed Building Consent.

The building is a residential three-storey Grade II Listed Building located in the east of the borough, within the Bow West Ward. The unauthorised extension was being used for poor quality housing in addition to having heritage concerns.

A Listed Building Enforcement Notice was served by the Council requiring the removal of the extension and replacement of the window with a traditional timber sash window.

Landowner Samuel Atanda Jenyo did not comply with this notice and consequently attended the Thames Magistrates’ Court on 15 November 2022 where they pleaded guilty.

Sentencing took place on 18 January 2023 at Snaresbrook Crown Court and the landowner was fined for an offence of failing to comply with the requirements of a Listed Building Enforcement Notice.  

Councillor Kabir Ahmed, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Inclusive Development and Housebuilding, said: “Listed buildings have their character and appearance protected by a special type of planning permission called listed building consent.

“It is a criminal offence to make an unauthorised alteration affecting the special character of a listed building without consent and the council has enforcement powers to reverse unauthorised alterations.”

Statutory listed buildings are designated by the government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport and are classified into three grades, I, II* and II.

Cllr Ahmed continued: “In this case, the building in question forms part of a row of listed buildings which were all listed for their group value in 1973. Listed buildings hold immense historic and architectual value and we must protect them.

“Prosecution is always a last resort and doesn’t happen very often. In fact, most of the reported breaches of planning control are resolved informally, through negotiation or approval of retrospective applications and without needing to serve a notice.

“However, this case sends a clear message to all landowners, unauthorised works to Listed Buildings will not be tolerated. The council has a statutory duty to manage the borough’s diverse heritage assets and will do so even if the consequence is a steep fine.”

There are there are approximately 2,000 listed buildings in Tower Hamlets.

If you want to alter a listed building, either internally or externally, you need to make an application for listed building consent. You can find more details on how to do so on this page on our website.

Posted on Thursday 4th May 2023