The court threw out the claim that Mohammed Owadally and Seema Khan did not know that the building was listed after it emerged that David Williams, their chartered structural engineer, had informed them. The two had bought the house, which is in the Bayswater Conservation Area, for £1.5 million in August 2013. They continued to work on the property despite a number of warnings from Westminster City Council. District Judge Coleman said that the “drastic” operation had destroyed the “historic fabric” of the building, affecting its physical stability. They were undertaken in spite of a clear order from Westminster that all building work should stop.
Cllr Peter Freeman, WCC deputy cabinet member for the built environment, said that the defendants “showed no regard for Westminster Council's careful stewardship and protection of our listed buildings.”
He continued: “We work hard to look after our historic properties, which make Westminster such a special and treasured place.These individuals should have known better and these fines send a clear message that it is not acceptable simply to ignore the planning rules enforced by local authorities.”