Planning saga hits taxpayers’ pockets despite cash awards

Mohammed Ilyas
Mohammed Ilyas

A nine-year illegal extension saga which has seen a man imprisoned has cost taxpayers nearly £30,000, the Bucks Herald can reveal.

A Freedom of Information request showed the dispute over Mohammed Ilyas’ Aston Clinton extensions has cost Aylesbury Vale District Council £85,467, of which £56,065 has been awarded in costs by the courts. These figures include legal fees but not council officer time.

Council head of planning John Byrne said the building had an ‘unacceptable’ impact on neighbours and the authority could not walk away because of the costs.

Mr Byrne said: “It is exceptional for a council to have to take such continued action through the courts because someone persists in ignoring our enforcement notice, appeal decisions and court rulings.

“We do take every opportunity to recover costs and they should be met by Ilyas rather than the taxpayer.”

Since Mr Ilyas built a part two-storey, part single-storey side extension to his Aylesbury Road home larger than planning permission granted in 2003 allowed, the case has been through the High Court and the Court of Appeal. It was expected the extensions would be demolished, but the Herald revealed Mr Ilyas is planning to submit new plans to bring them into line with the approved application.