STUDENT FLATS are facing demolition after the owner was fined £20,000 for breaching a planning enforcement notice.
At Aberystwyth Magistrates Court last week, Aberystwyth-based accountant and development owner Geraint Dafis, pleaded not guilty to breaching the enforcement notice, but was found guilty after a trial.
Geraint Dafis built the Ty Newydd flats, next to the old Boar’s Head pub in Queen’s Road, in 2011 without the correct planning permission.
He also built an extension to the Boar’s Head Hotel flats next door, which are also to face demolition. Dafis was issued with an enforcement notice by Ceredigion council to demolish the properties in November 2011 after a failed bid for retrospective planning permission.
However, by the deadline of 9th July 2012, he had not carried out the demolition order, or appealed the validity of the notice.
The properties are thought to house up to 50 students, who have met with the council and Dafis to discuss demolition fears, and Ceredigion council have agreed to postpone demolition of the flats until the end of the summer term in 2014.
The planning permission Dafis was given in 2010 was to build a detached three-bedroom family house with a garage and parking. However, he has erected a far bigger building with at least double the bedrooms and three large bathrooms, and little parking facilities.
At a town council meeting held in July 2012, councillors stated that they believed planning regulations pertaining to the whole development were “flouted and ignored from the very beginning making a mockery of the rules that everyone else has to conform to [sic]“, and emphasised that there is a “total lack of adequate parking associated with this application in an already massively overdeveloped part of Aberystwyth.”
Councillor Gethin James, Ceredigion council’s cabinet member for lifestyle services and waste, said the decision to take action was vindicated by magistrates who imposed the maximum penalty possible for the offence committed.
“The authority views any breaches of planning control seriously and it is committed to taking action against such flagrant breaches of enforcement notices,” he added.
The properties are due to be demolished in June 2014.