Limavady Listed Building Demolition Stopped
Published on Fri, 20 May 2005
DOE Planning Service has been given authority to stop further demolition of a listed building in Limavady.
A High Court Injunction was granted today against Douglas Millar of The Lodge, Main Street, Limavady, restraining him as the owner from undertaking further unauthorised works to listed buildings at 6 & 8 Main Street in the town centre. Mr Justice Higgins ordered that the injunction continues in force for two weeks from today with the case listed for mention again on 3 June 2005.
This follows an emergency Interim High Court Injunction being granted and served on Mr Millar on Wednesday 18 May 2005. The Planning Service sought the injunction following Mr Millar's failure to cease all works after being advised to do so by staff from the Londonderry Planning Office.
When the unauthorised works were first drawn to the attention of the Planning Service Enforcement Section on 17 May 2005, Mr Millar had already demolished the listed stable block to the rear of the buildings and the rear return of No 6 Main Street. Foundations and block work had also been laid for a large building. No planning permission or Listed Building Consent applications had been submitted for consideration to the local Planning Office prior to the commencement of the development.
A Spokesperson for the Planning Service said: "It is a criminal offence to carry out, or cause to be carried out, any works that would affect the character of a listed building's special architectural or historic interest. This includes the demolition, extension or alterations to a listed building. "We are charged with protecting our built heritage in the wider public interest and we recognise the importance of reacting swiftly in order to ensure that those intent on carrying out unauthorised and damaging works to listed buildings are stopped and made accountable for their actions.
"New legislation, introduced in November 2003, has significantly strengthened our powers in relation to breaches of planning control on listed buildings. Not only will an offender have a criminal record following successful prosecution, but they could face fines of £30,000 in respect of unauthorised work carried out on each listed building and have a prison sentence of up to two years imposed. We will, if appropriate, seek an order from the Court requiring the offender to pay our legal costs.
"Where we have established that an offence against a listed building has been committed, not only will we strive to secure a conviction through the courts, but we will seek to have the damage remedied through our well established planning enforcement procedures also.
"We hope that the granting of this High Court Injunction in relation to 6 & 8 Main Street, Limavady, will been seen as a clear indication of DOE's commitment to protecting our historic built heritage and we will widely publicise the implications facing those who wilfully damage listed buildings."