Tax rage developer bulldozes £1m property

Tax rage developer bulldozes £1m property


An investor has been given an £80,000 fine after bulldozing his 165-year-old house in south-west London without permission.

Rental property investor John Johnson, 50, demolished the Victorian villa in Twickenham after originally telling the council he wanted to partially demolish the house and then extend it.

Refurbishing a house incurs a cost of 20 per cent VAT, whilst building a house from new is exempt from this tax charge. Johnson would have allegedly made an extra £110,000 rebuilding the house from scratch compared to refurbishing the original home. 

Johnson was fined £80,000, ordered to pay £42,000 costs to Richmond Council and given a criminal conviction for the demolition.

Gary Grant, prosecuting on behalf of Richmond Council, said:”'Mr Johnson did not apply for the necessary Conservation Area Consent to permit the total demolition of the house.

“Nor, surprisingly, did Mr Johnson even ask Richmond Council planning officers what permission or consents he required before totally demolishing the house.”

Planning permission was obtained in June last year to extend the four bedroom house by building a two storey side and rear extension, as well as a basement to the house.

Rather than extending the house, Johnson demolished it, an act which left neighbours 'angered and frightened', reports the Daily Mail.

David Travers, defending, said: “Mr Johnson plainly is aware of the distress and anxiety these proceeds have brought not only on himself but on his wife.

“He's aware he now has a criminal conviction. He has been told about the considerable cost which he can expect and will have to pay and he has now the burden of having lost the good relationship with many, not all, but many of the neighbours.”

Judge Paul Dodgeson said: “The harm you caused is both emotional and physical. The distress you've caused to your neighbours has been obvious by their presence in court today.”

Johnson failed to ask for or receive a special Conservation Area Consent, which would allow the demolition to take place.

 Lucy Grothier, who lives next door to Johnson in an adjoining semi, said of the event:  “It was like an earthquake had struck.

“We had no idea this was going to happen and the whole experience has been rather traumatic.

“Our house was not designed to stand alone.”


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    I would give him £800,000 fine. Cowboy ...

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