Owner of six-storey Hoxton block convicted of profiting from planning crime

A local authority has seized £700,000 from a developer who built a six-storey block of flats in Hackney without planning permission.

The sum is believed to be one of the biggest compensation orders ever handed down by a court for a planning crime.

Garland Developments Limited built the 34 flats on Stanway Street, Hoxton, east London, in around 2007.

The company and its sole director, Yusuf Sarodia, were sentenced last month for the offence of failing to demolish the building despite an enforcement notice served by Hackney council in August 2011.

As part of the case, the council made an application to the court under the Proceeds of Crime Act to confiscate money made illegally by renting flats in the building.

The council will receive one third of the £700,000 – which it said would be reinvested into its legal and planning services – while the court and the Treasury will share the other two-thirds.

The council threatened to consider further enforcement action if the developer continues to refuse to demolish the flats which are no longer occupied.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Hackney’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Anyone who thinks they have a right to build a property in Hackney without first obtaining planning permission must realise that the council will take action against those who flout the rules.

“Putting up a building without planning permission is not only breaching planning law but to be quite frank puts at risk the safety of residents and neighbouring properties.”

It is not known whether an architect was involved in the project.