Thursday 13 December 2018

In pictures: Couple hid home from the council with fake garage door

Undated handout photos issued by Blaby District Council of a garage in Enderby, Leicestershire, which was converted into a secret home without permission. Reeta Herzallah and Mr Hamdi Almasri breached planning regulations and were eventually caught in October 2015 by Blaby District Council - PA
Undated handout photos issued by Blaby District Council of a garage in Enderby, Leicestershire, which was converted into a secret home without permission. Reeta Herzallah and Mr Hamdi Almasri breached planning regulations and were eventually caught in October 2015 by Blaby District Council - PA

Josh Payne

A couple have been fined after using a fake garage door and a high fence to hide a small secret home from a council.

Reeta Herzallah and Hamdi Almasri breached planning regulations and were eventually caught in October 2015, Blaby District Council said.

COURTS Gar (4).jpg
Undated handout photo issued by Blaby District Council of a garage in Enderby, Leicestershire, which was converted into a secret home without permission. Reeta Herzallah and Mr Hamdi Almasri breached planning regulations and were eventually caught in October 2015 by Blaby District Council - PA

Planning permission was granted for a development in 2007 which included conditions stating that car parking facilities, including the garage, should remain available permanently.

At Leicester Magistrates' Court, Herzallah and Almasri, of Old Church Road in Enderby, Leicestershire, were each ordered to pay a £770 fine, legal costs of £1,252 (€1,409)  and a £77 (€86) victim surcharge.

The garage will now have to be restored to its former use after a series of follow-up visits by the council resulted in the discovery of a series of planning breaches.

COURTS Gar (3).jpg
Undated handout photo issued by Blaby District Council of a garage in Enderby, Leicestershire, which was converted into a secret home without permission. Reeta Herzallah and Mr Hamdi Almasri breached planning regulations and were eventually caught in October 2015 by Blaby District Council - PA

Councillor Sheila Scott, portfolio holder for Planning, Housing Strategy, Economic & Community Development, said: "The message from this case is clear. If you breach planning regulations and ignore us we will not just go away.

"Creating an access onto the busy B4114 and blocking off valuable off-road parking space was completely unacceptable.

"We will be following up the successful prosecution with a further visit to ensure that all the requirements of the Breach of Condition Notice are fully complied with."

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