Firm fined over renovation foul-up

UNAUTHORISED renovations to a historic Ipswich shop have left a building firm £10,000 poorer today.Building contractors McMillan & Wright Limited, of Burstall, were fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000 for alterations to a Grade 2 Listed building in Northgate Street.

UNAUTHORISED renovations to a historic Ipswich shop have left a building firm £10,000 poorer today.

Building contractors McMillan & Wright Limited, of Burstall, were fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000 for alterations to a Grade 2 Listed building in Northgate Street.

The building, in one of the Ipswich's most historic streets, was last used as the Spare Moments wool shop.

McMillan & Wright Limited pleaded guilty at Ipswich Magistrates Court to carrying out internal alterations to the building formerly owned by Ipswich Borough Council. The defendants had acquired the building in 2002.

Although the builders stated that some of the unauthorised works had been undertaken by squatters District Judge Cooper stated that they were still responsible.

He said: "It is incumbent on owners of listed buildings to obtain consent before undertaking works and even if some of the works had been carried out by squatters, the defendants should have notified the council as soon as this became evident to give them an opportunity to provide advice.

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Mike Smith, head of planning and development, said: "The Borough Council takes its historic building responsibilities seriously. Our aim is always to work co-operatively with owners but this court decision sends a clear message.

"The Council had looked after the building carefully as owners and had completely re-roofed it in 1982.

"When it was sold in 2002, advice had been prepared to guide prospective purchasers on what could and could not be done to it. The council's requirements had been ignored in this case."

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