Property owner fined £50k for unauthorised work on listed building in Westgate-on-Sea

The Grade II listed property in Westgate-on-Sea

Thanet District Council has successfully prosecuted the owner of a Grade II listed building in Westgate-on-Sea who carried out unauthorised works.

Magistrates have ordered Malwai Nijar to pay a total of £50,130  for failure to comply with a Listed Building Enforcement Notice.

Mr Nijar removed timber sash windows at the front of 123 Canterbury Road, Westgate, without getting listed building consent.

A Listed Building Enforcement Notice was initially served in 2015. When negotiations to ensure the timber windows were fully reinstated failed, the council commenced legal proceedings.

The defendant  was found guilty in his absence at Margate Magistrates’ Court on December 2, 2021, and a further hearing was held on Monday, June 6.

The defendant  received a fine of £40,000 for failing to comply with an enforcement notice, contrary to section 43 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

He also pleaded guilty to failure to surrender to the summary trial on December 2, contrary to section 6 of the Bail Act 1976 and was fined a further £2,500.

The defendant was also ordered to pay the council’s costs of £7,560 plus a £70 victim surcharge.

Following the guilty verdict, the notice will remain in force until the work required is done.

Council officers will inspect the property again in August 2022. If the work has still not been completed, Mr Nijar could be taken back to court and could receive a further fine.

A Thanet District Council spokesman said: “It is a criminal offence to carry out any internal or external works to a Listed Building without first obtaining Listed Building consent under the Town and Country Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

“We take a strong approach towards anyone found to be carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building.

“In certain circumstances, a person found guilty of an offence can be sentenced to a prison term of up to six months, a fine, or both. The punishments are greater in case of conviction at the Crown Court.

“We advise anyone wanting to carry out works to a listed building to seek advice from our Planning Department.”

Further information is available on our website at


  1. if i was this gentleman i would ask thanet council how is it that buildings at st augustines abbey at ramsgate , a listed building of importance , has white plastic window frames fitted ? or is there another reason how they got away with it ?

    • Well Real World, its probably because they obtained permission to carry out the work, unlike this case, who are showing nothing but contempt for the law!

    • 17 st johns road has a plastic upvc porch on the front, 17 a has had a door removedthat was specifically mentioned in the listing, both havebeen ignored by tdc even though both have been subject to the councils attentions.
      Council owns a good chunk of Royal Crescent and thatsin a terrible state.

  2. I wonder if Thanet Council can be prosecuted for incompetence and miss-management for closing the public toilets the boarded up lifts the run down Granville Theatre-The run winter gardens-The run down of Heartsdown swimming pool, The stealing of the WARR park land in Newinton Road Ramsgate to build a fire station. The selling off of PUBLIC land. To name just a few.

    • At the next local election, vote for councillors who will have access to a Magic Mpney Tree, where endless £Ms will grow, ready for plucking.
      Then the council can spend all these fabulous £Ms on all the lifts, theatres, toilets, cinemas, barges, boats, parks, churches and so on that folk think money should be spent on, and keep the streets clean and the bins emptied.

      If you don’t know of any Magic Money Tree owning potential candidates, then suggest which core council services you would suspend, in order to divert the money to your pet project.

    • I wonder if the people of Thanet will accept the increase in their taxes so all the improvements can be done. The demise of Thanet has been going on for many years, but is only being highlighted now.

  3. Glad TDC did this but agree about the gobsmacking level of irony. Heritage buildings, listed or not, are being neglected and sold off by TDC at an alarming rate. They could not give a stuff.

    Not all the interesting and well-loved buildings they leave to disintegrate are listed, but they are therefore even more in need of genuine appreciation and attention, not just the callous letter of the law approach.

    • And the circumstances around the old british legion in St.Johns road, ripped apart with no planning or listed building consent to provide the drug hostel, then the council waved through a retrospective application , didn’t even go to committee despite 50 objections. And now the council pay for the service, double standards at a minimum.
      Not that something didn’t need to be done in respect of the building in the article , it’s stood becoming ever more dilapidated for nigh on a decade now.

  4. Good on T.D.C. Now make everyone who makes unauthorized changes to their property do the same, listed it not. I take it people still require planning permission.

  5. At last the building when timber identical replacement windows are installed could help to protect the interior structure or what ever remains.

    Regretfully the building as far as I am concerned has been left open to the elements on purpose in order to achieve the owners aim but not protect the original fabric of the building and interior.

    I assume that Mr Malwai Nijar is not receiving sufficient income from his other ventures in Westbrook and St Peters Road Margate in order to continue with his dream.

    Now Mr Malwai has £50,130 less to spend will the mean we have to wait a further 5 years before any work is carried out. ?

    Perhaps Mr Malwai will sell to McCarthy & Stone so that they can not only demolish St Peters Church but expand their proposed development of 38 one and two bedroom Retirement Living Apartments onto this site. They obviously retaining the original structure.

  6. Andrew, yes tell us about the grab all give nothing back Tories imaginary money tree. Are any of us any better off for the Tories selling off public owned companies gas electric water telephone post office private companies leeches in the NHS and so many more NO we Jo public are not. Shareholders of the above companies are the ones the Tories planted the MONEY TREE for.

    • Thank you Bill. The local council “Money Trees” have been deliberately starved of cash by central government over the last twenty/thirty years.

  7. Anyone who has had dealings with this gentleman knows he’s not a pleasant person to deal with. He cares less about his tenants than he does planning regulations.

  8. The fine is less than the cost to reinstall the sash windows so he’s had a result! The fine should have been much more than that.

    • “Council officers will inspect the property again in August 2022. If the work has still not been completed, Mr Nijar could be taken back to court and could receive a further fine.”

      So he still has to reinstall them.

      • Lets await the the “ unfortunate blaze thought to have been the result of paint removal as part of the works to reinstate this iconic building” or such like.

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