Proceeds of Crime

Many Feltham North and Bedfont residents will be aware of the properties referred to in Planning Enforcement agenda items 22, 23 & 24.

Because not all of the above notices were not complied with, the London Borough of Hounslow instigated a prosecution.  Nothing out of the ordinary about that because during the past three years LBH has become one of the most pro-active planning enforcement regimes in the country.  What is different about this case, was the use of the Proceeds of Crime route.  It has not been used by Hounslow before and it has hardly been used by any other Planning Authority in the country.

There was a court hearing at Kingston Crown Court on 21st January 2010 and the following applications were heard and the results are as follows:

a) Restraint order- HHJ Barnes granted the restraint order as drafted

b) Confiscation Hearing – HHJ Barnes found that the benefit figure amounted to £186,680 and confirmed that there was evidence to show that the amount far exceeded the benefit figure. The confiscation order was made in the sum of £186,680. The landlord was given 6 months to pay this amount, and the default term set was 2 ½ years

c) Sentencing- HHJ Barnes fined the Landlord £750.00 for each offence concurrent to each other

Costs were applied for in full. HHJ Barnes ordered the landlord to pay £2,000 contribution towards costs.

LBH really does mean business in this area.  No longer is this London’s forgotten borough.  We lead the way in this and many other areas.

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2 Responses to “Proceeds of Crime”

  1. David Gibbs Says:

    I am delight with this news. However I fear that good news relating to planning enforcement in Hounslow is going to be rare in the coming months/years. After hearing the news this week that the principal planning enforcement officer who lead the transformation of the service over the past few years has recently left the Council to join another authorithy and has not yet been replaced.

  2. Mark Bowen Says:

    Dear Mr Gibbs,

    Thank you for your posting and welcome to the blog.
    I believe that the turnaround in planning enforcement happened for two reasons:

    1. The fact that the new administration of 2006 gave it a very high priority;
    2. The fantastic work of the Officer you refer to, aswell as others in his team.

    It is true that he has left (and all the best to him) but I know that LBH will do what is can to recruit a replacement. I know from experience that these positions are very difficult to fill.

    I am glad that you are delighted with the news in this thread.

    Mark

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