Margate property owner fined for painting listed building an “unauthorised” colour

The owner has been taken to court by the council

The owner of a building in Trinity Square, Margate, has been ordered to pay a total of £3,740 after being taken to court for painting their property an “unauthorised” colour and then failing to comply with an enforcement notice.

The owner pleaded guilty to non-compliance with a Listed Building enforcement notice when the case was heard at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on  April 19.

In 2017, the outside of a property on Trinity Square was painted an “unauthorised” dark blue colour which council planning officers deemed as harmful and unsympathetic to the surrounding Listed Buildings within Trinity Square.

An enforcement notice was served in February 2020 and the owner then submitted an application for Listed Building consent, which the council granted. This allowed the owner to paint the building a different colour, despite an enforcement notice having been served, subject to stipulation that an approved colour was chosen.

But the owner did not carry out the work by the June 2020 deadline and the case was referred to the council’s legal department who pursued prosecution for non-compliance of the Listed Building enforcement notice.

The owner occupier pleaded guilty at the Magistrates’ Court and was ordered to pay a total of £3740. A fine of £2000, plus a surcharge of £180 and costs in the sum of £1560.

Bob Porter, Director of Housing and Planning, said: “The council has a duty to protect Listed Buildings across Thanet and will seek to take action against anyone who carries out unauthorised work.

“ In this particular case, a clear breach of the regulations had occurred and the owner did not take remedial action despite our teams trying to negotiate a solution with them.

“Listed buildings are an important part of our heritage, so it is extremely important that residents are aware that the council will take action, even if it takes many years, in order to protect it. We’re pleased to see that the Listed Building enforcement notice has now been complied with.”


  1. When one paints over brick they always have to paint over it. Silly thing to do but one does not know one has made a mistake until one makes it. They then make another mistake by not doing what the council told them to do. Now they have found to their cost the price of their mistakes.

      • Yep, let’s get real-the other houses around it look drab & aged & this one is a lot more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Would be interesting to know how much money TDC spent pursuing this the last 4 years, is it more than the costs awarded? Seems we are being run by a bunch of jobsworth pedants who boast about ‘victories’ like this while seemingly oblivious to the filthy pavements, ever increasing empty shops & the town generally looking like a bomb has been dropped on it.

        • Whether or not it is”more…pleasing to the eye” is a matter of personal taste. Like the beach-hut house in Ramsgate.

  2. To be honest how did they ever think they would get away with painting it that colour sticks out like a sore thumb, just out of interest how come it has taken so long to conclude this case

  3. Shame TDC aren’t as diligent in mere *conservation areas* – new UPVC, highly textured paint – virtually pebble-dash – even 4′ x 8′ sheets of ply slapped on 1860s Victorian property, as a permanent alteration to an escape room company & not so much as a peep out of TDC – Cliftonville can clearly go to hell, one needs lofty *listed status* for any measure of local authority concern – a surveyor told me just the other week, ‘No way would anyone be getting away with installing UPVC windows & doors in any Canterbury conservation areas!’ Its the same conservation area *law*, just not deemed worthy of acting on in Cliftonville – if architectural heritage is worth protecting in the likes of Canterbury, but not Margate something’s not exactly right, is it – why isn’t the law applied equally nationwide…

    • Add to it the complicit works done at the old british legion in the haste to get the homeless shelter pushed through, that was done under a retrospective listed building consent and planning application. The upvc porch never had any action, The building next door to it is also listed but door has been changed twice without consent. No action.
      Then in a conservation area no action taken where a property of which tdc is freeholder is converted from 1-2 bedrooms in a totally inappropriate manner.
      And only yesterday the story of tdc’s own neglect of its listed properties.
      Would be almost comical if not true.

  4. Shame TDC weren’t quite as diligent when putting their own tenants’ lives at risk with the lack of gas, electric, fire checks on their own properties.

    Much easier to go after and fine others than point the figure at their own role in the East Kent Housing debacle.

    • I was interested to see that a house in Trinity Square has been painted in an unauthorised colour, and the owner has been fined as a result. In my opinion, the house in question did look out of place, but to be honest I didn’t know that a list of authorised colours existed! My family has lived in Trinity Square for over 70 years, I grew up there and am just embarking on refurbishment but am disappointed to see the fabric of a house adjoining mine is very dilapidated and getting worse, which is a bit worrying, it even has razor wire fitted to several windows at the rear. I’ll be diligently following all the rules to make the place look nice whilst the place next door is falling apart. Where is the guide to things that can and can’t be done?

  5. Absolutely Matt. TDC have a strange idea of conservation.The law is clear but the application of it is a shambles. Look at what they have agreed in Duke Street in a conservation area!

  6. As ever Alan Chapman has little or no idea of what he’s commenting on. A conservation area is so I’ll leave this TDC statement for reference:
    “A conservation area is defined as an ‘area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’ Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. Conservation Areas are environments which are considered worthy of protection as a result of a combination of factors such as the quality of design and setting of the buildings or their historic significance. In addition to the individual qualities of the buildings themselves, there are other factors such as the relationship of the buildings with each other, the quality of the spaces between them and the vistas and views that unite or disrupt them. The interaction with adjoining areas and landscape, the quality of trees, boundary treatments, advertisements, road signage, street furniture and hard surfaces, are also important features which can add to or detract from the Conservation Area.

    Conservation Area status gives the Council some extra control over development to encourage enhancement of the area, but it is not meant to stifle development. The local authority has a duty to ensure that the character or appearance of a conservation area is preserved or enhanced, when considering applications for development. This includes development which affects the setting of a conservation area.”
    You’re welcome.

    • Ah so that’s why they’re building what looks like an annexe to the council offices on Duke Street.

    • Thanks for that clarification Gary, I live in a Conservation area, and a few years ago someone bought a terraced house in my road, built in 1836 so a plaque says. To my horror the new owner started to paint the brickwork, so I contacted TDC and they were there like a shot, and stopped this idiot from desecrating his house! I admire brickwork, especially if its ornamental, and hate to see it painted, pebble dashed, or rendered over!

  7. Bloody useless narrow minded people at TDC should be all voted out. Money for nothing chasing people who try to improve Thanet. When will they do anything for good,answer NEVER that’s to hard for the mindless twit’s to work out

  8. They have had two years to enforce the return of stonework to the hole in the wall where a meter box was wrongly cut into the wall of a listed building in a conservation area in Northdown Road 2019. The listed external boundary stone wall is falling apart onto the pavement through lack of any maintenance but TDC has done nothing to get it rectified. They did nothing under the conservation laws when century old trees were killed off at the same premises either.
    How long should it take TDC to get around to enforcing issues like these. Why has the TDC conservation officer done nothing? Planning know all about it.

  9. Good to see TDC doing such vitally important work, wasn’t aware that painting a building you own a different colour could ‘damage’ the buildings around it. Certainly much more important & an eyesore than the pavements & areas covered in cigarette butts, dog mess, fly tipped waste & empty boarded up or whited windows shops that apparently is fine, or only isn’t when one of the royals is visiting for an hour or so.

    • Even odder is that the works done at the old british legion were permitted under a condition that they were reversed in 3 years, it’ll be interesting to see if that condition is enforced when the time comes. But given that a coat of paint is about the most reversible change to a building it surely would not have hurt to let the change go through on the proviso that the next time it was painted (or in a reasonable period of time say 7 years its repainted) in an approved colour.

      The Dalby Square area heritage grant scheme had a pretty limited pallette of colours available for use, the colour preferred was magnolia which caused some consternation amongst the farrow and ball crowd. But i expect that most would agree the square and other buildings that took part look much better than they did.

  10. Warwick Road, Surrey Road are both in a conservation area and both have houses with extensions built without planning or building control permission. TDC are aware and have done nothing to enforce the removal of eyesores.
    TDC treat conservation areas as tick box exercises only and officers and councillors ignore the conservation officer who gets zero support.

  11. TDC showing yet again they are stuck in a time warp. And how was the owner expected to get the work done in the middle of lockdown? The irony is great. Anyone who has ever tried to get anything through TDC planning department will know they move at the pace of a snail frozen to a glacier.

  12. Talking of a terrace of listed buildings i.e. Trinity Square, why does TDC allow the waste to be dumped and not regularly collected, towards the top. Bags burst or are pecked and so often the rubbish blows down the street. This is an ongoing health matter, not a matter of a paint colour which has now been rectified anyway.

  13. Totally agree. I live on Trinity Square – it is often filthy. Complaining about a renovated building when the surrounding area is dirty with no regular street cleaning is amazing hypocrisy.

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