A Boston property owner has been prosecuted at Boston Magistrates Court for failing to remove unlawful works carried out to her historic property.  Patricia Wainwright, the owner of the property on Witham Bank West, Boston which is a statutorily Grade II listed building was ordered to pay a total of £5,621.34 after a trial at Boston Magistrates’ Court.

Boston Borough Council became aware in late 2017 that Ms Wainwright had employed builders to carry out renovations to her property.  The works included the removal of the ‘cat slide’ roof, which is an important architectural detail of the building.  A new raised roof was constructed and this significantly harmed the character of the historic building.  Due to the flagrant breach of planning rules that are designed to protect important heritage buildings the Council prosecuted Ms Wainwright and in July 2018 she was convicted at Lincoln Magistrates Court and she was fined and ordered to pay costs totalling almost £2,700.

Ms Wainwright was then served with a legal notice that required her to remove the new roof and return the building to its original and historically correct condition.  Despite allowing six months to comply with the notice, no works were carried out and Ms Wainwright did not seek to engage with the Council to find a resolution.  Consequently, the Council had no alternative but to take further legal action against Ms Wainwright.

Following a number of court dates, most of which Ms Wainwright failed to attend; the case was heard at Boston Magistrates’ Court on January 22nd. Ms Wainwright again failed to attend and the Court heard the case in her absence and found her guilty of the offence. She was fined £3,500 and imposed a victim surcharge of £181 and the Council were awarded its full legal costs of £1940.3, a total of £5,621.40.

Statutorily listed buildings are protected by law and it is a criminal offence to carry out unauthorised works to alter or extend such buildings without first obtaining listed building consent from the local planning authority.  Boston Borough Council would encourage all owners of such properties to seek guidance from the Council before carrying out any works to a listed building and you can contact the Council’s planning team on 01205 314305 or by email at planning@boston.gov.uk for advice.  Where necessary the Council will consider using its legal powers against those that carry out unlawful works and this could ultimately result in legal action being taken.

The rear of 38 Witham Bank West, Boston showing the new brickwork and roof