Businessman fined £45k for unauthorised work on Hampstead Garden Suburb home

Lawee's home in Wildwood Road.

Lawee's home in Wildwood Road. - Credit: Archant

A Hampstead Garden Suburb businessman has been fined £45,000 by magistrates for repeatedly carrying out unauthorised building work on his Grade II-listed home.

The unapproved conservatories built by Lawee.

The unapproved conservatories built by Lawee. - Credit: Archant

Maurice Lawee, of Wildwood Road, the Suburb, pleaded guilty to four counts of carrying out unauthorised work to a listed building at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday last week.

He was fined £45,000 and ordered to pay legal costs for Barnet Council, which brought the court action.

Lawee’s unapproved works included building two large conservatories at the back of the house, knocking out chimney breasts, alcoves and the original staircase, as well as damaging the distinctive Flemish bond brickwork.

He bought the house near the Hampstead Heath Extension in 2008 for £3.7million.

Barnet Council leader Cllr Richard Cornelius, said: “Mr Lawee showed a blatant disregard for the fact he was living in a conservation area in a grade II listed building when he decided to alter his house in the way he chose fit.

“Planning laws are there for a reason and the high level of fine reflects the seriousness of this breach.”

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David Davidson, architectural adviser for the Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust, said: “The Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust is very pleased that the court has taken these offences seriously and imposed such a substantial fine on the building owner.

“The Suburb is an area of international significance in the history of town planning and architecture, and alterations to its buildings need to be carefully considered in order to retain its special characteristics.

“Mr Lawee chose to ignore the planning regulations which exist to protect listed buildings from damaging alterations.

“Barnet Council has rightly pursued this offence with due persistence. The result will hopefully deter other owners of listed buildings from similar actions and ensure that they get the necessary approvals before carrying out works of alteration.”