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"Planning application in breach of your lease? Not our problem! Get legal advice!" (Kensington & Chelsea Planning Department - endorsed by the Local Government Ombudsman)

Planning Applications for Jefferson House, 11 Basil St, London SW3 1AX

 

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(See a summary of planning applications for Jefferson House, 11 Basil St, London SW3 1AX - sourced from Kensington & Chelsea Planning website in Sep 2010 - which contains some of the applications referred to on this page)

(Events also discussed under Major Works)

Sections

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Introduction

Planning applications come under the responsibility of local councils - in the case of Jefferson House: Kensington and Chelsea with which I have had many unhappy dealings.

Back to sections list

 

(1) - Planning applications - Penthouse apartment

Through KSR Architects, 'Steel Services' aka Andrew David Ladsky (see CKFT- Intro ; Extortion ; Headlessors , Owners identity , Directorships)...

...made a planning application on 13.11.01 (Ref PP/01/2523) for the

"erection of a new residential penthouse apartment at main roof level"

A previous application had been made on 18.09.98 (TP98-1773). (The Land Registry recorded Steel Services ownership at 22 Nov 96) (Andrew Ladsky et.al. took over the headlease in 1996, and the freehold in 1997).

In my view, this planning application was a key milestone in the game plan,...

...as it was used as a threat in the 13.12.00 so-called 'Notice by Landlord' (L&T Act 1987) issued by Laytons solicitors (see Notices by landlord - 13 December 2000)

"The property is also sold subject to the burden of ongoing litigation.

The landlord has been served with an application for an injunction seeking to restrain the landlord from implementing the current planning permission (TP/98/1773), and damages" .

 

It was emphasised by Andrew David Ladsky in his 25.01.01 letter to me (and other leaseholders)

"...series of complex and costly obligations.

...you should also consider the further payment to the landlord detailed in his offer letter.

...the tenants must purchase the property with the burden of ongoing litigation which has serious implications both in terms of the costs and damages that could flow.

The litigation could impose a serious financial burden which is yet to be determined".

 

In his 13.12.02 "Expert Witness" report to the then London Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) (part of the English legal system), Ladsky's surveyor, Brian Gale, MRICS, wrote under Section 4 -1.4:

"I am able to categorically state that the Specification makes NO provisions for any construction of an additional floor nor any future requirement in the building to create a penthouse flat"

 

In fact, a planning application notice, dated 12.12.03 i.e. one year later (delay due to Ladsky not getting his 7 Aug 02 Application to the LVT going the way he was counting on), states:

"Design modifications to existing approved planning scheme for a new penthouse apartment to be constructed at roof level for PP/01/2523"

If there was "NO intention to build an extra floor" then, WHY were 2 applications made, followed by an application for "design modifications"?

The answer: as soon as "the works" - finally - started in Sep 04, so did the construction of the penthouse - that had been denied vehemently by the Ladsky gang of racketeers - See also Photo gallery

Back of Jefferson House in July 2002 and...

...and in September 2005

Note that in the summary of his Feb 02 "condition survey", Brian Gale, MRICS, wrote:

"...the roof coverings will need to be replaced and provisions made... to cover any additional works which may become apparent."   (NB: Such as the 'incidental' cost of building a penthouse?)

"...the roof had exceeded [its] modern life span" (NB: Oh! dear!)

See also the Feb 02 photographs, taken by Brian Gale, of the back of Jefferson House at the time he undertook the "condition survey" - and compare with the above photograph I took in Sep 05.

And note his assessment of the "defects" and recommended "remedies" in his Feb 02 "condition survey" v. the outcome of 'the major works' - including in this summary slide.

Following Brian Gale's 'survey', Joan Hathaway, MRICS, of then Martin Russell Jones, (MRJ), wrote me, in her 26.03.02 letter:

"Your suggestion that the appointment of professional advisors is in any way connected with any planning application is incorrect.

We can assure you that the survey is not in connection with any planning application"

In reply to my 11.08.02 letter, in which I asked for:

"An explanation as to why works are being carried out to the roof given that a planning application to build and extra floor for a penthouse flat was granted..."

...Joan Hathaway, MRICS, MRJ, 'wrote' in 'her' (i.e. Ladsky's) 30.08.02 reply:

"We are informed that there is no intention to build the penthouse at the current time ...obviously any major changes would be advised to lessees"

 

Furthermore, consider the 04.03.03 letter 'from' Joan Hathaway, MRICS, (=Andrew Ladsky) to Brian Gale, MRICS, (which he supplied as part of the evidential documents during the then London Leasehold Valuation Tribunal hearings in March-April 2003):

Para.19 - "...regarding the proposed penthouse ...although the planning permission was granted it was subsequently found that the scheme was not a viable proposition...there are no plans to build the penthouse at the property"

Para.35 - "When it was obvious that the penthouse was not going to be built"

 

Of course, the other part of the MRJ double act, Barrie Martin, FRICS, was backing-up the claim, as can be seen in 'his' 14.07.04 letter to me:

"External repair and redecoration work plus internal refurbishment of common parts"

 

Barrie Martin, FRICS, MRJ, yet again repeated this claim in 'his' 02.08.04 letter to "All Lessees":

"...the proposed works to the exterior and internal common parts of the building are due to start on 16 August 2004"

 

Six weeks later, at the start of the works in Sep 04, in their " description of the works", the contractors, Mansell Construction Services / Brian Gale, MRICS, described the works to be carried out as:

"General repair and refurbishment of the main structure of Jefferson House, 11 Basil St, to include cutting out of spalled and defective brickwork and replacing to match, replacing asphalt roofs, redecoration externally, redecoration of internal common areas, replacement of lift"

 

As can be seen in 'his' letter of 19.10.05, Brian Gale, MRICS, continued to misrepresent the works undertaken to the very end:

"...Mansells, the contractors undertaking the works have now completed the external redecoration"  

" The external redecoration" ?

•  How about the construction of the penthouse?  

•  How about the conversion of apartments resulting in the addition of 3 other apartments? (Amazingly, by 2016, they had 'disappeared': Martyn Gerrard # 30).

•  These works resulted in 39 apartments v. 35 apartments at the start of the works (Major works # 1)

(For evidence of 35 apartments at the start of the works see, e.g.:

Back to sections list

 

(2) - Planning applications - Infill of lightwell on 4 floors

 

At the time that Brian Gale, MRICS, was writing his 13.12.02 "Expert Report" to the tribunal - which includes, under point 3.04:

"I confirm that there were no inclusions within the specification or tender documentation intended to improve or enhance any future potential development of the site by either the freeholder or headlessee" ...

 

...a 2nd planning application, (Ref PP/02/2692), for

"Infill of lightwell on 4 No floors to create additional bedroom and bathroom space to each flat" ...

...had just been made days earlier - on 25.11.02. It was communicated by the council in a notice dated 28.02.03.

 

Applications for amendments to this 2nd Planning Application - for which the reference changed to PP/03/00429, and the description to:

"Amendments to existing planning consent for proposed infill of third, fourth and fifth floor lightwell" ...

...had likewise, also been made:  

(i) Notification dated 07.01.04  

(ii) Notification dated 19.04.04

Hence, yet again, before the start of "the major works" in Sep 04 (see Photo gallery for evidence).

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(3)- The 2002 'Get Lost!' from Kensington and Chelsea Planning department - endorsed by the Local Government Ombudsman

In my 30.06.02 complaint to HM's Local Government Ombudsman, I reported that Kensington & Chelsea Planning had:

  • (2)- I had gone in person to the department to say that the planning application breached my Lease e.g. as:

(ii)- the addition of an extra floor would bring the height to 75 feet - and got the reply:

"Not our problem. Get a lawyer!"

 

(3)- I had quoted from DTLR legislation - 11.08.60.00 Planning permission - Covenant 158 - about the impact on a freeholder from doing this - to which the reply was:

"Well that may be, but it's not our problem. Get a lawyer!"

I also reported that I had contacted 'my' local MP, Michael Portillo, asking him to get the planning department to reverse its decision (*), and had got the same answer: "Get a lawyer!"

(*) In the 27.05.02 presentation pack I had prepared ahead of my meeting with him)

Surprise, surprise: what I was beginning to realise is typical in this island-Kingdom - the 11.07.02 'reply' from Jack McKenna, Local Government Ombudsman was a 'Get lost!':

"Your complaint...you have not said anything in criticism of that decision apart from pointing to what you regard as a height restriction in the terms of your lease" (1)

"Unfortunately, this does not appear to be a material planning consideration that the council has to take into account" (1)

"The terms of your lease and the breach of any covenants... are essentially a private matter between you and the freeholder or head lessee:

they are not matters for the council to consider or deal with..." (1)

"If you believe [1] that constructing the penthouse will breach the terms of your lease, then that is a matter ultimately for the courts..." (2)

"Obviously, the projected costs of the building works...are daunting, but you do have some protection under the terms of the Landlord and Tenant Act and in particular recourse to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal if you consider any of the resulting service charges to be unreasonable" (3)

(1)- In my 27.07.02 reply I stated that "it is outrageous that the planning department of a local authority has no obligation whatsoever to ensure there are no restrictions on a building when it grants a planning application".

As to the "if you regard", I stated: "it is not 'what I regard as' - but what the legal system 'regards as'"

I also quoted the DTLR legislation extracts I had suppied - and asked: "What is the purpose of this? Is this just another meaningless, worthless piece of paper?" Very clearly, the answer is: YES!

(2)- THEY create the problem - and then tell you to sort it out - for which the actual translation is: 'And we are counting on your not having the money to do this i.e. challenge our dear, sacrosanct landlords masters'.

As I wrote in my 27.07.02 letter: "Through our (hefty) Council Tax we pay for the salaries of individuals employed in the planning department. They have a duty of care to us. Certainly, their role should not be acting as a money-making machine for lawyers."

As to my "going to the courts": looking at my very extensive experience with Her Majesty's courts: kangaroo courts - it would only amount to another massive waste of my time and money.

(3)- "you do have some protection under the Landlord and Tenant Act and in particular recourse to the Valuation Tribunal"

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Look at my experience with this corrupt tribunal: Summaries: Events ; Breaches of the law ; Overall outcome on me.

Back to sections list

 

(4) - From Oct 14, major works started to be carried out on the upper levels, at the back of Jefferson House.

The extent of the works suggesting that a planning application should have been submitted, and the fact that I had not received a legally-required notice (as per e.g. above), led me to investigate further, including approaching Kensington & Chelsea council.

From Monday 8 Sep 14, a scaffolding started to be erected at the back of Jefferson House, by a company called Hadley. The following photographs were taken on 12th Sep 14.

By 1 Oct 14, erection of the scaffolding appeared to be completed, including setting-up a temporary lift, and the works to have started.

(In the 2 Oct photo, the dangling red tube at the base of the scaffolding are stacked up, bottomless bins - in order to be placed over a container).

30 Sep 14

1 Oct 14

2 Oct 14

By 2 Oct it looked to me as though some major works were taking place on the upper levels.

As I had not received a legally-required notice (as per e.g. above), I went to Kensington & Chelsea town hall to inquire.

There I was told that there was "no planning application", and that "the requirement for one depends on the nature of the works".

Having shown my photographs of the scaffolding, the person suggested I contact the Planning Application department.

7 Oct 14 - Video of works at back of Jefferson House, upper levels

I decided to capture more evidence (to that above) before approaching the Planning Applications department, by going into in a nearby building that gave me a view of the upper floors. I did this on 7 Oct 14, and filmed the following between 09h59 and 10h16.

The photographs are stills from the video.

I happened to catch the workers making numerous trips in the staircase on the side, carrying bags of what I assumed was cement, up to the highest level.

VIDEO WORKS back of Jefferson House

(Click on right-hand square, bottom of frame, for full screen view)

 

 

My 10 Oct 14 pack to Kensington & Chelsea Planning dept

On Friday 10 Oct 14, I returned to Kensington & Chelsea town hall, and supplied a CD-ROM containing:

  • copy of all the photographs.

The Customer Service person said that he would put it in the internal post for the attention of a Planning Enforcement Officer, and asked me to write a covering note - leading me to provide a more detailed request i.e. for: planning application; drawings; notice; decision.

 

The 17 Oct 14 acknowledgment from the Planning Dept

 

13 days after hand-delivering the above to the Planning dept, on 23rd Oct, I took delivery of this 17.10.14 Oct letter from the dept, that was posted on the 20th - stating::

"Your enquiry has been registered for investigation...It is being dealt with by the Enforcement Officer.." (1)

"A site visit will be undertaken as soon as possible to establish whether there has been a breach of planning control and what action may be appropriate." (2)

(1) - Evidently, NO planning application was filed, otherwise the letter would say so. It also confirms what I was told when I first went to the town hall on 2 Oct 14 (above).

(2) - When will "the site visit" take place? When the works have been completed?

(Subsequent note: YEP! As I had predicted - see # 4.3, below).

OF NOTE:

  • on the morning of Tuesday 14 Oct, as I was about to come out of Jefferson House, one of the workmen, who appeared to me to be a foreman, was waiting by the lift; looking at me he said, "Hello" in a sarcastic, mocking tone. (Until then, when meeting the workmen in the corridor / by the entrance door, none had spoken to me).

Considering:

  • my previous experience with the planning department (# 3 above);

ADDED to my experience with :

  • other public sector departments in my borough - also tasked with 'implementing the rule of law' - but nonetheless also perceive their role as assisting and protecting the Ladsky mafia in its criminal activities - and consequently deny/ied me my rights of access to justice, redress and protection:

...ADDED to my experience with 'my' then Members of Parliament: Michael Portillo who, in effect, told me to 'get lost', and with the subsequently disgraced "Right Honorable" Sir Malcolm Rifkind who sided with the above parties...

...my conclusion is that the Planning dept immediately informed the Jefferson House gang about what I had done - and that it resulted in the exchange of 'winks and nods'.

I'll have to wait and see what it comes up with. (5 months later: nothing!)

By 28 Oct 14, a lot of building materials, planks etc. were being hoisted up.

By mid-December, some additional scaffolding had been added to the floor below the (then?) penthouse apartment.

On 18 Dec 14, there was more hoisting of building materials (involving at least 4 workmen).

My guess: the works entail converting the last 2 floors into a duplex penthouse - perhaps two. However: see the claim by a contractor, on 5 Jan 15.

'My guess' as: 'of course': at the time of this update, no reply from the Kensington & Chelsea Planning department to my request I hand-delivered more than 2 months previously, on 10 Oct.

 

In the earlier part of December (hence, 3 months after the scaffolding started to be erected), a banner was added on the front as well as side of the scaffolding - stating "atsinteriors.com - Creating extraordinary spaces - tel: 020 8845 7778"

If the condition of the upper floors is the same as the one above my bathroom: when might we expect an "extraordinary [crash]" of the building?

Back to sections list

(4.1) - On Saturday 10 Jan 15, at 09h24, there were 14 workmen on the scaffolding - and still no response from Kensington & Chelsea planning on planning application

 

As I happened to go past the back of Jefferson House, at 09h24, on Saturday 10 Jan 15, I saw that there were 14 workmen in total on the scaffolding:

  • 12 at the base;
  • 1 on the level below the top;
  • 1 at the top.

 

Back to sections list

(4.2) - 6 months after the erection of the scaffolding, from 9 Mar 15, it was being dismantled.

There are some visible changes to the top floor which, in addition to the other evidence, suggest that a planning application should have been sought.

However, 5 months on, still no response from Kensington & Chelsea planning.

 

9 Mar 15

17 Feb 15 - 5 months after the erection of the scaffolding, the part that was protruding at the top, on the left handside, had been removed.

The visible changes to the top floor

24 Sep 05

10 Mar 15

The visible changes to the top floor are:

  • (1)- new windows on the left and on the right;
  • (2)- the metal balustrade on the roof has been replaced by see-through material.

Considering that:

  • (3)- the 14 workmen I saw on the scaffolding on 10 Jan 15,...

...it is evident that some major works took place.

Given that a planning application was sought by:

...it follows that a planning application should have been sought for the works - thereby, I submit, challenging the claim made to me by the contractor, on 5 Jan 15.

BUT: 5 months on, since the 17 Oct 14 initial acknowledgment by the Planning department of my 10 Oct 14 pack - it had not replied to my correspondence.

Back to sections list

(4.3) - Predictably, more than 5 months later: a one-finger 23.03.15 'response' from Kensington & Chelsea Planning to my 10 Oct 14 pack...

while 18 months later, 3 apartments seemed to have 'disappeared'.

And, typically for a British State department, getting more sadistic kicks by "inviting [me] to join the local Residents' Panel"

The 23.03.15 'reply' from Luke Perkins, Team Leader, Planning Enforcement:

"I refer to your enquiry regarding a possible breach of planning control at the above address [Jefferson House]." (1)

"I can inform you that your enquiry has been investigated fully by the Enforcement Officer [2] it has been concluded there has not been a breach of planning control in this case(3)

"This is because the scaffolding has now been removed from the rear of the property [4] and and no major external works appear to have taken place." (5)

"It has been confirmed by the developers [6] that the scaffolding was there in association with internal refurbishment works to one of the flats [7] and tidying up at roof level." (8)

"The Council values the participation of the public in the planning enforcement process. Although no action was appropriate in this case, I would, nevertheless, like to thank you for drawing the matter to my attention."(9)

(1)- I hand-delivered my pack to the council on 10 Oct 14 i.e. more than 5 months previously.

As I had predicted (above), I knew from past experience with Kensington & Chelsea council that it would not deign to ‘reply’ until the works had been completed.

(2) (3)- Wow! “full investigation” – that led to the conclusion of “no breach”.

What did "the officer" do?

Did s/he makea site visit” (that was due to take placeas soon as possible”) – as stated in the (above) 17.10.14 letter of acknowledgement of my pack? Er, actually…No!

(4)- How was it determined that "the scaffolding has been removed"?

Obvious answer: by looking at my website! (above, # 4.2 - reporting that the scaffolding started to be dismantled on 9 Mar 15 = 2 weeks pre this letter from the council)

(5)- True - based on the photographs that were ALSO on my website before the ‘reply’ (# 4.2, above) - externally - "no major works appear to have taken place".

HOWEVER: 2 windows were changed.

As I reported under # 4.2, apartment 7 Jefferson House filed a 23.01.14 Application to replace a window.

Hence, WHY is it that no application was filed to replace the 2 windows?

(6)- "developers" = major works

And there certainly were major works taking place: summary under # 4.2.

(7)- "the scaffolding was there in association with internal refurbishment works to one of the flats"

In the light of the resources used, it is abundantly clear that some very major “internal refurbishment works” took place.

And NO - it was not "to one of the flats" - as it involved the apartment below as well.

What is the impact of what took place on:

  • (1)- the shares of the service charges?

The council would reply: ‘Not our problem! Ask the landlord / his managing agents’ (which, in my case, with Martyn Gerrard, means that I would not get an answer).

  • (2)- the amount of the Council Tax, for the apartment/s concerned?

This IS a relevant question to Kensington & Chelsea council - but, it does not know, as it did not even bother to come.

Actually, 18 months later: 3 apartments seemed to have 'disappeared'! See Martyn Gerrard - # 30 Comment # 4.

(8)- "tidying up at roof level" - As can be seen in the above photograph (I repeat: on my website before 'the reply' from the council), the railing was removed and replaced with some see-through material.

(9)- "Although no action appropriate in this case, I would ...like to thank you for drawing the matter to my attention"

At this point Luke Perkins et.al. were rolling on the floor with laughter....whilst perhaps saying:

"Shut up! You're not [a] councillor"...

- as Kensington and Chelsea council’s Tory whip, Tim Ahern, told parents, worried about a controversial schools transport contract for disabled kids, to put them in their place"

From Private Eye, 1383, 9-22Jan15, pg 14 - "Rotten Boroughs Awards 2014 - Quotes of the Year"

To add to its sadistic kicks, in Dec 14, the council sent me this sarcastic letter (repeated again in early 2015), from Mr A.J. Redpath, Director of Strategy and Service Improvement - stating:

"I am writing to encourage you to join the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea's Residents' Panel. This is an excellent opportunity to have your say about life in the borough by taking part in various consultations about your council, its services and local issues" (1)

"The website allows us to get feedback from you more quickly about the issues that matter to you most.

In the past members have helped us to identify ways in which we could improve...community safety..." (2)

The attached flyer claims:

"Your name has been chosen at random from the Council Tax Register" (3)

Oh dear! oh dear! 'The (rotten to the core) gods' hold a grudge against me for 'my daring' to report on their aiding and abetting criminals: Kensington & Chelsea housing...

...and then 'daring' to also challenge as well as expose their mate, the Local Government Ombudsman.

(1)- And as you know, we only pay attention to what we like to hear.

(2)- Ditto, no criticism about our mates in the local police.

(3)- Yeah, right! After my being in the borough for more than 40 years...by amazing coincidence, I am "selected at random" two months after I report an apparent breach of planning control by a longtime protégé of the council.

CONCLUSIONS

A typical outcome from the planning department - at Kensington & Chelsea council that continues to – of course – collude and connive with ‘certain' landlords and their aides.

Evidently – and to be expected – the council is still a perfect match with some of the other local public sector departments (see Note, above).

In the light of the way I have been treated by Kensington & Chelsea council since 2002, I am convinced that, (in tandem with the above who equally perceive/d themselves to be at the service of the Ladsky mafia = assisting and protecting its criminal activities),...

...it has – and continues – to play an active part in the persecution regime dished out against me:

Imagine what Kensington & Chelsea Council must be doing in relation to ‘a pariah’ ‘like me’ for ‘daring’ to challenge it, its mates in the local police and courts, as well as the Ladsky mafia – considering the green light given by the first two, and the control by the latter over the public sector (HO # 3.1(4)).

I wonder: does it include following the example of Slough council (Media page) that ensured that a woman who was “a thorn in their side…was put on a very extensive blacklist”?

 

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