Four homeowners in south London launch fight for compensation against property developer

Four homeowners who discovered their flats had been built without planning consent and could be demolished are suing a property developer for compensation.

They accuse Adrian Smikle of building twice as many flats as he had planning consent for and of claiming that the flats complied with planning permission.

Now the four, who bought three flats at 17 Seely Road in London SW17, have launched a legal battle for compensation against company director Adrian Smikle.

They say they bought their flats as a result of his false claims that the units had planning consent, and that on May 1 last year, he agreed to buy the properties back.

Since then, he has failed to buy back the properties, in breach of agreements, and the leaseholders believe that the local authority is taking enforcement action against him, and may demolish the properties, it is alleged.

Mr Smikle was fined £12,000 by the Health and Safety Executive in January 2007 for two offences at the property in Seely Road.

A company which trades from his home address at 9 Becmead Avenue, London SW16 – Benjiman Developments – was also fined £12,000 for using wet cement products with no hot water available at the site in Seely Road, according to the HSE website.

Now the for homeowners accuse Mr Smikle of making false claims, and say he knew that he had built twice as many flats as he had permission for, contrary to planning consent, and that he was negligent and reckless when he claimed that the flats had been built with planning consent.