Per reports, the couple, Rita and Hamdi, have been caught carrying out unauthorized work on their home. Authorities launched an investigation after receiving reports of unauthorised work being carried out at the couple’s property. Follow-up investigations revealed that the couple had committed several planning breaches, including converting their garage into a habitable space, erecting fencing that prevented off-street parking, and creating an unauthorised vehicle access onto a busy dual carriageway.

The unauthorised work violated Section 171 D (1) of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990, which led to the couple receiving a Breach of Condition Notice. Despite having previously applied for authorisation to develop their home, the couple failed to obtain the necessary permission to convert their garage and erect the fencing. Planning permission for the original housing development stated that car parking facilities, including the garage, should remain available permanently to ease potential on-street parking issues. The couple also required further planning permission to build their driveway, which they did not obtain.

Blaby District Council’s enforcement team made several attempts to resolve the issue with the couple. A retrospective planning application to retain the works was submitted by the couple, but was subsequently refused and dismissed on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate. The couple eventually removed the fencing after receiving further correspondence from the council. However, inspections confirmed that the garage had not been restored to its approved use, with the inserted door and window concealed by a propped up garage door.

A final site visit confirmed that the required works to the garage had still not been undertaken, leading to the council seeking prosecution for the offence. The couple were convicted in their absence following a short hearing. They were each ordered to pay a fine, legal costs and a victim surcharge. They were also told that they have to change the house back to a garage. Authorities believe the tiny property was occupied by an employee of the couple.