A Kirkby Lonsdale businessman has been prosecuted for removing a rare Edwardian window from his shop, breaching strict planning rules.
The replacement window ended up costing Sajjad Anwar £500 in costs after the case, which was heard earlier today, April 10.
Anwar, 35, who runs the jewellery shop on Main Street, pleaded guilty to altering a listed building without consent when he appeared before magistrates in Kendal.
He was prosecuted by South Lakeland District Council - the planning authority responsible for protecting listed buildings in the area.
He admitted to ‘causing works to be executed for the alteration of a listed building’ by replacing the window, which affected its character as a building of special architectural and historic interest.
The shop window he took out was a large 20-pane original Edwardian timber-framed window. It was replaced with a modern single-pane timber window.
Anwar was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to make a contribution to the council’s costs of £500, plus a £15 victim surcharge.
Anwar told the court he was the victim of a burglary in March last year, which prompted him to replace the window.
However, he did not seek the consent of the council to replace the window and didn’t seek consent for any temporary measures which the council said it would have helped him with.
Anwar had attended two planning surgeries in May and June 2011 in Kirkby Lonsdale and was given information and advice about listed building consent.
But the court heard that he chose to ignore the advice given at those events when he changed the window last year.
Altering the character of a listed building without consent can attract a fine of up to £20,000 and six months’ imprisonment.
Nicola Hartley, senior solicitor at South Lakeland District Council, said: “While we sympathise with Mr Anwar’s reasons for wanting to replace the window it is still a serious offence to change a listed building without consent.
“The legislation is there to protect the character of historic or architecturally important buildings and to preserve these buildings for the benefit of our communities.
“In this case this was a rare example of an Edwardian multi-pane shop window that has now been lost forever.
“Mr Anwar had consulted with us previously about changing this window and had been told about the listed building restrictions, so he was aware of the situation but chose not to follow the advice given or seek the proper consents.”