Hammersmith Council has agreed to settle and to pay costs. The developer, who is also a defendant, has failed to reply. Bridge Invest Ltd, the micro-bank which funds his activities, is unaware of how its money is being divested. The following was sent to the chairwoman of the planning committee, just before the council caved in.
This was in response to Mr A’s e-mail on 6 August, which was copied to her, colleagues and staff at the council.
"He has made many previous allegations that are entirely false but which we can no longer ignore. We need to correct the record, before judgement.
Since his purchase of the studio almost 4 years ago, he has been consistently aggressive and threatening in his dealings with us (and to council staff). He has submitted 12 planning applications, all of which have, bar one, have been refused by the council, on numerous valid grounds.
His behaviour has imposed huge stress on councillors, local residents, planners, and the planning committee, as everyone had to grapple with his chaotic approach, ever repeated proposals and aggressive manner. He has never sought to approach anyone to discuss his plans. In fact he has misled both residents and his bankers in claiming that he would just refurbish it.
Given the physical and structural bond between neighbouring buildings and the studio, all work should be lawful and prevent damage to other homes. He has blocked a fire escape, which has led to other court proceedings.
Not a single one of his applications included the technical report or assessment for development proposed (contrary to the council’s own planning policy) and his drawings have all been confusing and erroneous. He has used neither architect`s nor engineer`s advice.
It is not possible to assess the impact upon next door buildings of his flawed proposals. Nobody can have any confidence that he intends to undertake the development with proper care. He has broken many laws, including false claims for council tax rebates, with immunity.
His latest e-mail concerns unauthorised work at the studio. His e-mail refers to matters relating to the Party Wall Act and building regulations. It fraudulently claims that the fact that foundations have not been undermined means that there has been no breach of planning control.
Work undertaken without planning permission includes excavating 5 skips of soil or 40 tonnes. More soil was removed in over one hundred sacks, two weeks ago.
The party wall surveyor forced his way in after two years of blocking refusals, now confirms excavations of over a metre below the basement floor level. He also confirms destruction of historic décor from the front wall of the studio. This work has been undertaken without planning permission or discharge of relevant planning conditions. There has been no supervision by engineers and conservation experts, as required by law.
The excavation that has been undertaken constitutes development which would require planning permission. The council adopted a borough-wide Article 4 direction which specifically and deliberately removes permitted development rights for subterranean excavation. The reason the council adopted the Article 4 direction was to control unregulated double basement development. This is precisely what has been done. It will, if continued, impact adjoining properties.
On 30 June 2020, planning permission was granted under delegated powers. That will now have judicial review, as the council lawyer preferred to take leave rather than reply by the deadline. Several pre-commencement conditions have to be met before work can start, lawfully.
Planning enforcers have been informed many, many times with photographs of illegal work. These have been brushed aside, with ridiculous comments such as 40 tonnes of earth were “ mere dust from under floorboards. “
The lawyer, who authored this sent it in view of the falsehoods, with which councillors and staff have been bombarded. These points will be put to the High Court judge as will Mr A`s murder threat to a planner. He will determine the truth. Further defamatory comments will also go before the judge.
We would be grateful if you would kindly circulate this to your colleagues and staff who were in receipt of the defamatory and dishonest comments, which have been made against both residents and them.