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Lewisham LBC v Purelake (Bromley Magistrates Court)

DATE: 19 Mar 2013


This was a prosecution for the ‘demolition’ of an unlisted building in a conservation area. Consent had been granted (as part of a large housing and retail development) for the substantial demolition of an unlisted public house, so as to enable unattractive later additions to be removed while retaining the facade.  Considerably more demolition than had been permitted took place.  This raised a difficult question.  Since the works exceeded the consent they were all authorised.  On the other hand most of the works were contemplated by the consent.  Did these works involve the commission of a criminal offence?  Did it matter that the excess works, taken by themselves, probably did not amount to ‘demolition’ of a building within the meaning of Shimizu?  These matters were not addressed in the authority’s evidence.  Nevertheless on receipt of the authority’s skeleton argument the defendants pleaded guilty. 

Richard Langham appeared for the local planning authority.