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The Blairs walking on water again

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The Blairs walking on water again

Post  Panda on Thu 24 Jan - 16:44

Cherie Blair avoids sanctions over £1.3m mews tenant

Cherie Blair and her son Euan have escaped court action despite telling an official inquiry they breached planning regulations over a £1.3 million mews house they jointly own in Central London.

The mews home is one of an estimated nine houses and flats in the Blair family's multi-million pounds property portfolio Photo: AFP/GETTY

By Telegraph reporters

3:26PM GMT 24 Jan 2013

The admission, made on their behalf by architect Simon Templeton, is revealed in documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

In them Mr Templeton confirms a new number plaque was displayed outside the basement of the property in direct contravention of Westminster Council refusing an application for it to be used as separate property.

Under planning laws prior consent is required for change of use and the worst offenders can be taken to court and hit with fines of up to £1,000.

The Blair's submitted plans to sub divide the house in two on the day the sale went through in 2010 but this was rejected following objections from neighbours.

What the FoI documents reveal is that the former Prime Minister's family paid little heed, installing an un-named lodger who seen regularly entering and leaving the basement entrance. Besides the separate 14B going up on the door a shiny new silver letter box was also added. It is not known whether the lodger was paying the Blair's rent, but basement flats in the same area are let out for between £1,500 and £2,000 a month.

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The plaque, Mr Templeton admits, was removed after planning inspectors, responding to complaints from neighbours, visited the mews house in May 2011.

In a planning questionnaire completed in June 2012, Mr Templeton states: "The basement was 'self contained' from 09/10 through to 05/2011 but that after this it became part of the main house.

In his covering letter he said it was used by a young couple, who "shared the house with a lodger as well as other family friends and relatives."

Regarding a new number was added to the street, in addition to the Blair's own, he responded: "Number "14B" was removed 05-2011 when basement was connected to upper parts."

In response Rosemary MacQueen, the council's strategic director for built environment, wrote: "On the basis of the response received, it would appear that the basement flat was self-contained from September 2010 through to May 2011. In May 2011 the basement was connected to the upper part of the property."

She added: "It would appear that the property is currently being used as its lawful use as a single family dwelling. In view of this no further action is necessary and the file will be closed accordingly."

Yesterday one of the neighbours who has complained about the breach questioned whether the council might have acted so leniently had it been anyone else.

"What can be a greater contravention of planning policy than being refused permission to do something then going ahead and doing it anyway? If it hadn't been the Blairs I haven't the slightest doubt that the matter would have ended up in court, with a hefty fine to make sure the offender didn't do it again."

Euan, 29, is reportedly trying to follow his father into politics. His mews home is one of an estimated nine houses and flats in the Blair family's multi-million pounds property portfolio.

A Westminster Council spokesman said the action it took was in line with Government advice to try and rectify problems before court action is taken.

He added: "The owner agreed to reverse any unauthorised works, which has been done. therefore there was no need for the council to take further action."





Last edited by Panda on Thu 24 Jan - 20:01; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Blairs walking on water again

Post  malena stool on Thu 24 Jan - 19:12

The Addams family....
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