We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Aneel Zafar, 32, has been locked in a dispute with Stoke-on-Trent City Council ever since installing the grey windows four years ago. It has seen him take his legal fight to the High Court, run up a bill of more than £15,000 and this week, ended up before North Staffordshire Justice Centre for a second time. Now Aneel is still refusing to replace his windows and repaint the property and is taking his case to the Planning Inspectorate.
According to Stoke-on-Trent Live, the dispute has broken out because Aneel’s home – on Victoria Park Road, in Tunstall – is in a conservation area and has to meet certain planning rules.
Following this week’s case, Aneel said: “When I bought the house in 2014 I was not aware it was in a conservation area. I was not aware that I was not allowed to change my windows.
“I had the uPVC windows fitted in 2018. I did not think I was doing anything wrong. But the council prosecuted me. When I had my windows changed the council said it sent me a letter saying I had three months to appeal. I did not receive that letter.
“After the three months the appeal process had gone. The council came back and said it was going to take me to court.
“I went to court in 2020 and told the council to produce the Article 4 document and the conservation area documentation. They said they had lost it. I am contesting the conservation area status. I believe it was never put in place properly.”
Aneel says he splashed out around £20,000 on his uPVC windows. He says that more than two-thirds of the properties in the street have uPVC windows. He added: “My old wooden windows had holes in them. They were smashed. Air was getting in the house.
“The council has been bullying people for years into spending so much money on wooden windows. The council is playing hardball for no reason. This has been going on for four years. All I want is to get it in front of the Planning Inspectorate.
“If I had known that I was not meant to get my windows changed then I would not have changed them. The council has money to send me to court but not got the money to spend on the rest of Stoke-on-Trent.
“Some of my neighbours had uPVC windows. I just thought go for it and I did not have to have planning permission for it. Unless I do something about it I am going to be prosecuted again and again and again.
“I am going to take it to the Planning Inspectorate. I am not going to give in. The council wants me to put wooden windows – it is on a power trip.”
When contacted by Express Online, Stoke-on-Trent City Council did not wish to comment due to ongoing legal proceedings.
Representing the city council in court earlier this week, prosecutor Colette Lamb said: “In June 2018 it was brought to the council’s attention that works had been undertaken to the property; the painting of the front elevation in dark grey and installation of uPVC windows. It is located in a designated conservation area where Article 4 Directions remove some of the permitted development rights.
“On October 31, 2018 the council served a planning enforcement notice requiring the removal of the uPVC windows and to reinstate timber windows to replace those that had been put in. He was also required to repaint a rendered section of the wall to the front using white paint.
“An initial period of compliance was given and he was convicted on January 20, 2020. A further period of compliance was allowed.
“The defendant was unable to comply with the notice due to Covid and requested an extension. The council agreed to this and extended the date to October 31, 2021. Site visits were conducted on November 8, 2021 and February 23, 2022 and the notice had not been complied with.”
Source: Read Full Article