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Court hands down £35k bill to Children’s Home operator

Hinal Patel, of 4 Pembroke Road, Walthamstow, has been hit by substantial fines in two recent court cases that have seen Waltham Forest Council protect the interests of local residents.

Mr Patel, the owner of an independent Children’s Home in Pembroke Road, Walthamstow, and his company Kateya Solutions Ltd, had challenged the Council’s Planning Enforcement and Community Protection teams.

But in both cases the courts sided with the local authority and against Mr Patel and his company, leaving him with separate bills of £21,154.90 and £14,290 respectively.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, said, “Mr Patel has fought us tooth and nail in regard to each and every element of the action taken against him and in the process made the lives of those living near his Children’s Home hellish.

“The property in question is just not appropriate for use as a Children’s Home, and rather than accept that and abide by the decision of the Council’s Planning Committee, he has continued to run his business.

“In the meantime we have had to issue a Community Protection Notice to try to curb some of the appalling behaviour of his residents, and again he has sought to divest himself of all responsibility. As a result he now faces having to pay some hefty fines and some substantial costs.”

On 30 October the Council’s Planning Enforcement team brought a case to Thames Magistrates Court for operating a children’s home without planning permission. Mr Patel entered a plea of not guilty and the matter has been set down for trial at Waltham Forest Magistrates Court on 9 December.

When the case was heard on 9 December Mr Patel had changed his plea to guilty and was fined £9,900 plus a Victim Surcharge of £120. His company was fined £3,334.90 and he was ordered to pay the Council’s costs of £7,800 – a total of £21,154.90.

The judgement came exactly three weeks after Mr Patel lost an appeal against the Community Protection Notice at the same court house. On that occasion the Council was awarded costs of £14,290, although the owner has since asked the Magistrates to review the decision.

The Notice had been put in place after the residents of Mr Patel’s Children’s Home had repeatedly made their neighbours’ lives hell through various acts of anti-social behaviour over a five year period. These escalated in intensity to include damage to property, assault, threats, targeted attempts at intimidation and incidents of spitting and littering.

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