Dad jailed after bitter planning court row

The Ilyas family of Aylesbury Road
The Ilyas family of Aylesbury Road

AN Aston Clinton father who refused to knock down an illegal extension on his home has been jailed after a dramatic High Court hearing.

Mohammed Ilyas was sent to Pentonville Prison for three months following a bitter planning row.

It comes after an eight year battle with Aylesbury Vale District Council over an extension to his Aylesbury Road home, branded a ‘Frankenstein home’ by neighbours.

After the ruling by judge Mr Justice Seymour, the council’s cabinet member for planning said she took ‘no pleasure’ seeing Ilyas sent to jail – but said the authority had no choice but to act.

Councillor Sue Polhill said: “We take no pleasure from Mr Ilyas being sent to prison but he has brought this situation on himself by continually ignoring the enforcement notice and the High Court injunction.

“Planning regulations are laid out for a reason and the council takes these matters seriously, and when necessary we will take action against those who try to flout the law.”

Taxi driver Mr Ilyas was jailed after the High Court judge heard he had again ignored an injunction forcing him to demolish the extensions to his home in Aylesbury Road, Aston Clinton.

Mr Justice Seymour also awarded £9,000 costs to Aylesbury Vale District Council.

Earlier this year, Mr Ilyas’ solicitor, Mohammed Sawar, told the Herald his client and family were ‘depressed and under huge stress and strain’ and that Mr Ilyas was ‘virtually unable to work with the threat of prison hanging over his head’.

“He has put his life savings – approximately £450,000 – into the property in order to give his five children a future and to care for his father,” said Mr Sawar.

“If Mr Ilyas goes to prison and the kitchen and bathroom are demolished, the house would be uninhabitable and the family would have to be rehoused, possibly split up.”

He added that Mr Ilyas was poorly advised by his builders.

Planning permission was granted for extensions to his home in 2003, but when enforcement officers visited the following year, they spotted that the extension was larger and different to the original plans.

Mr Ilyas applied retrospectively for permission in 2005, which was granted for an amended design, but again enforcement officers discovered that Mr Ilyas had not built the extensions in accordance with the plans.

A further retrospective application was submitted by Mr Ilyas, and when that was refused, he lodged an appeal, which was also rejected by a government planning inspector.

In November 2010 the council secured a High Court injunction requiring the demolition work to be carried out by March 2011, but Mr Ilyas did not do the demolition work and was found guilty of contempt of court in April.

Mr Ilyas was given a three-month prison sentence, to be suspended if demolition took place by 18 May.

After an appeal failed in October, Mr Ilyas was ordered to demolish the extension immediately. After considering AVDC’s evidence on Friday, the judge upheld the committal order and Mr Ilyas was immediately taken to the cells.