A property developer has been told to pay a record breaking £725,000 after he built a £10 million block containing 34 flats without planning permission in central London.
The six storey block was put up on land in Hoxton around 2007 and Hackney Council told Garland Development Limited, and the company’s sole director Yusuf Sarodia to demolish it in 2011.
But they ignored the order and were taken to court under the proceeds of crime act.
The company and Mr Sarodia were jointly ordered to pay £700,000 plus more than £15,000 in costs.
But three months later the block was still there, so they were taken back to Snaresbrook Crown Court in east London and fined another £10,000.
Hackney Council spokesman Andrew Woollard said: “The enforcement notice was served on August 17 2011.
“He had not gone through the planning service to build it. It was just put up without any permission from the planing service.
“We told him to demolish it which he did not do, hence why the action was taken.
“The confiscation order of £700,000 is a reflection of all the rent he’s got since he built it.
“He was sentenced in November at Snaresbrook Crown Court for failing to comply with the notice and got another £10,000 fine.
“He would have been fined a lot more if it wasn’t for the order already in place.
“That was a total of £715,120 including costs made in August this year under the proceeds of crime act.
“The planning service has never seen this amount of confiscation before. We think it is a record figure.
“We will take further enforcement action if he does not demolish it. As far as I know all the tenants have moved out and the building is currently empty.”
Speaking oustide his two storey £800,000 home in Ilford, east London, Mr Sarodia, 62, said: “I feel victimised by Hackney Council. I am going to pay them next month.
“I am a simple person, I don’t use outside builders, I do it myself. Everybody makes mistakes.
“But we have not done any drugs here or had prostitutes in here.”
“I have not done anything wrong, I have given the residents a good sized bathroom and good sized bedroom.
“Nobody’s saying it’s a bad building, I don’t know what the problem is here.
“When I build the site, in the beginning I did as what was on the plan, but I put in a few extra windows.”
Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration said: “Anyone who thinks they have a right to build a property in Hackney without first obtaining planning permission must realise that the Council will take action against those who flout the rules.
“Putting up a building without planning permission is not only breaching planning law but to be quite frank puts at risk the safety of residents and neighbouring properties.”
Money received by the Council will be reinvested back into the services that brought the developer to justice.
The Council will receive one third of this with the other two thirds split between the Court and the Treasury.