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Bayswater home-owners told to remove burglar alarms

Council warn that failure to comply could result in custodial sentence or hefty fines

15 June, 2018 — By Tom Foot

A burglar alarm outside one of the homes

OWNERS of houses in Bayswater who do not take down burglar alarms could face two years in prison or a £20,000 fine, council officials have claimed.

Residents of 30 homes in Hereford Road, Bayswater, have been told to remove the devices from the listed buildings after a complaint earlier in the year. No other streets have been singled out for planning enforcement.

Labour’s new Bayswater councillor, Maggie Carman, said: “The advice of the local police and insurance companies is that visible burglar alarms are an essential tool in stopping break-ins and protecting residential properties

“The council’s aggressive action defies common sense and is totally disproportionate to the minor transgression of planning restrictions affecting the Hereford Road properties.”

“The Hereford Road residents are affronted by the council’s high-handed action as it implies that they do not care about the listed building and conservation area status of their property. In reality, all of the 30 properties affected have been subject to major improvement works costing many tens of thousands of pounds paid for by the householders themselves.

“With the limited re-sources available, the council should stop harassing law-abiding residents in Hereford Road and direct planning enforcement action to-wards more pressing issues such as the misery caused by unauthorised holiday lets and Airbnb ‘party flats’.”

Eight homes applied for building consent for their alarms, but officers from the council have recommended the applications for refusal.

They say they are an “intrusive feature against the attractive Victorian buildings”.

In the report residents have warned that they installed alarms on the advice of the police and the London Fire Brigade.

One, unnamed, told the council: “I was in the process of arranging our box to be painted white, in the same way as our new neighbours two doors down the road did very recently while undergoing an extensive refurbishment.

“However, to my surprise, I was informed that it will not be acceptable… I was told that we have to both move it and paint it, but only after applying for the relevant planning permission… Our alarm is a 24-hour monitored burglar and fire alarm and has both BT wiring and ADT wiring going into it. The alarm box is also supporting the wireless panic buttons we have in a several locations inside the house. I estimate that the cost of the whole undertaking will easily get to over £1,000.”

The report says residents had been informed of the maximum penalty for breaking listed buildings rules is two years and imprisonment.

A council spokesman said: “It is quite right for residents to install alarm boxes, but the city council has a statutory duty to pay special regard to the integrity of listed buildings. In this case, we have suggested that alternative locations for the boxes will be more suitable for these historic properties, without compromising security.”

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