THE owner of a number of notable listed buildings across the Gloucestershire and Wiltshire has been convicted of failing to cooperate with planning enforcement officers.
Frank Faryab of Oxford Street, Malmesbury, appeared at Cheltenham Magistrates Court last week after residents contacted Cotswold District Council concerned he was making unauthorised alterations to the grade II listed Dollar Street House in Cirencester.
Concerns were also raised that he was using the building as a residence, contravening its permitted use as an office for a financial institution.
Although enforcement officers made several attempts to make contact with Mr Faryab, 64, he did not respond.
Although a Planning Contravention Notice was served, he twice failed to complete and return it and the council began legal proceedings.
Although he denied any wrongdoing, the magistrate found in favour of CDC and ordered him to pay a £150 fine plus £450 towards the council’s legal costs and a £15 legal surcharge.
Speaking after the trial, CDC’s cabinet member for planning Cllr Sue Jepson (Con, Campden-Vale) said council officers had made “every reasonable effort” to make contact with Mr Faryab.
“It is a criminal offence when someone fails to respond to communications from the Council over a considerable period, and he clearly obstructed our officers’ attempts to investigate the claims being made about his conduct,” she said.
“They will continue to look into this matter and I trust that they will now get more co operation from Mr Faryab.”
She added the council felt it was extremely important the 6,000 listed buildings in the district were preserved.
“While we nearly always succeed in working amicably with property owners to achieve this aim, we have shown that we will not hesitate to take action when someone refuses to acknowledge our communications,” she added.
In September Mr Faryab was ordered to carry out repairs to a listed building in Malmesbury which it was feared was a danger to passers by.
Similar complaints have also been made against him regarding properties in Stroud.