Former Havering councillor says he’ll fight to keep ‘illegal’ canopy

A former Havering Councillor has been served with an enforcement notice after erecting a canopy and a steel clad building without permission on green belt land.

At a Regulatory Services Committee meeting councillors recently agreed to take action against Alby Tebbutt, who used to lead the Planning Committee, for the alleged breach of planning control in Crow Lane, Romford.

Cllr Brian Eagling (RA, Harold Wood) said: “He is someone that should really know better and he is just trying to push the boundaries.”

Green belt

But the notice is set to be served in December due to a pending retrospective application to retain the canopy and steel-clad building, which was deferred at the meeting on Thursday of last week.

The committee heard that the canopy, which provides a dry environment for the unloading of lorries was originally erected in 2008 on the green belt site. A number of councillors argued that the buildings would have little impact on the land.

Cllr Eric Munday said: “The reality is that the site is a mess and it would be no less messy if the canopy was not there.

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“I understand that the canopy would improve the conditions for the people that work there.”

Cllr Billy Taylor said: “There is another permanent building on the site and I don’t see what harm it would do if we put another permanent building on the land.”

Alby, who is the father of Cllr Barry Tebbutt, vice-chairman of the Regulatory Services committee, who was not at the meeting, defended his decision and vowed to fight the notice.

He said: “We are the oldest firm in Havering and we employ 170 people. How can we have them working outside?

“The council are supposed to be helping businesses. If they refuse it, I am going to take it to appeal and then take it all the way to the court of human rights.”

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