AN ENFORCEMENT SAGA:
A WARNING TO OTHERS?
As long ago as June 2002 (Newsletter 141) we reported that "the City Council is currently considering ordering the replacement of [the windows] at 10-14 High Street, which the approved plans clearly indicated would be timber sash rather than UPVC casement windows". In September 2002 (Newsletter 142) we noted that "we have written to the Planning Inspectorate expressing the view that this particular style of window is inappropriate within the Conservation Area". In February 2003 (Newsletter 144) we reported the Inspector's decision: he dismissed the appeal and ordered the owner to replace the new UPVC casement windows with timber sliding-sash, to replace the concrete roof tiles with natural slate, and to remove the unauthorised rear balconies.ON THE VERGE OF A SOLUTION?
Subsequently the City Council took the owner, Mr Gerald Grimes, to Liverpool Crown Court, and in September 2004 he was convicted of failing to comply with an enforcement notice - the court imposing a fine of £2,000 and ordering him to pay £3,000 costs. But Mr Grimes challenged this sentence in the Appeal Court - and it was on 17th May this year that the Liverpool Daily Post reported the result: "Dismissing the appeal, Mr Justice Forbes - sitting with Lord Justice Gage and Mrs Justice Cox - said the sentence imposed was 'entirely appropriate', as was the legal costs order".
In default of payment of the fine, the penalty is 28 days' imprisonment - which prompted the Liverpool Echo's attention-grabbing headline:
'Jailed for putting in wrong windows'.
For many years now, we have been concerned about the deteriorating condition of the grass verges in Thingwall Road. When the Wavertree Garden Suburb housing estate was laid out before the First World War, a conscious decision was made by its designers to retain the broad verges of what had previously been an old country lane. Of course, there was very little traffic - and very little need for car parking - in those days, but when the Garden Suburb was made a Conservation Area in 1971 the verges were recognised as worthy of protection.
Over the years, several attempts have been made - by the Council, ourselves and individual residents - to prevent vehicles driving onto the grass, but recently things have become much worse. A combination of wet weather, United Utilities excavation works, the Olive Mount redevelopment project, mowing with the blades set too low, and deep rutting caused by the regular parking of cars and vans on the verges, have led to parts becoming a barren and unsightly quagmire.
Some months ago now, the Council sent out sternly-worded letters to local residents, warning them that parking on verges was illegal and would not be tolerated any longer. As yet, however, there is no evidence of any enforcement action having been taken. The Council is apparently considering the installation of more green metal 'hoops' on the roadside, but we feel that this would be an expensive, unsightly and not entirely effective solution to the problem.
If you have any alternative ideas to suggest, please let us know.