Holmfirth man convicted of demolishing listed building
A Holmfirth man has been convicted of demolishing a listed building and extending a property without planning consent.
Mr John Gregory Cropper 62, of Midgley Farm, Upperthong, Holmfirth was convicted on 2 Jan 2020.
The demolition and extension only came to light when Mr Cropper applied to change the use of a listed farm building at his property to a dwelling.
Our listed building inspector visited the site and found a much newer building than expected. It then came to light that following an earlier refusal of an application to turn the original dwelling into residential property, Mr Cropper had arranged to have it demolished instead, and had built a new property in its place. Another property on the same site had also been extended, again without permission.
With the property being in a rural location, and no reports being received from neighbouring properties, the crime had gone undetected for some time. It is thought that the unauthorised changes to property were carried out sometime around 2008.
What did Mr Cropper plead guilty of?
Mr Cropper removed the extension following its discovery by our staff. He pleaded guilty in court to both the unauthorised demolition of a listed building, and the unauthorised extension of a listed building. The court ordered that Mr Cropper pay a £1,500 fine for the demolition, £1,448.33 in costs and a £150 surcharge, to be paid in full within 3 months.
Cllr Rob Walker Cabinet Member for Environment said:
“The council is often accused of not protecting our heritage. But taking action in this instance, despite the time that had passed between the act and its discovery shows just how seriously we take the protection of listed buildings. I hope that this case serves as a warning, that no matter how well you cover your tracks and for how long, your actions will catch up with you and there will be consequences. If you are looking to develop a listed building please get in touch with the council, our officers can offer advice on ways to work with the system, and often a solution can be found that is mutually beneficial”.