Three owners of ‘dangerous’ block of new build Luton flats have been named in enforcement notice

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Tenants of a new build apartment block in Luton are facing an uncertain future after the owners were told it has to be demolished.

Luton Council has served an enforcement notice on the owners of a four-storey block of flats on Downs Road, after they failed to comply with planning conditions imposed when permission was granted in 2014.

The council branded the building, known as Madina House, ‘dangerous’ for a lack of fire control and escape equipment.

The notice, served on the property in Downs Road on Monday 19 November, requires that the building be demolished within nine months.

Owners Tarek Ahmed Hamid, Zafar Ahmed and Shahed Ahmed were served the notice at 170a Bury Street, London. They have until December 31 to appeal.

The flats are in the designated Rothesay Conservation Area, where there are additional planning controls to protect the special character of the neighbourhood.

Planning conditions relating to the materials to be used, roof design, drainage and contaminated land strategy were not discharged and the building has not been built in accordance with the approved plans, which means the whole building is unauthorised.

Cllr Paul Castleman, the council’s portfolio holder for Planning and Transport said: “There are significant differences between the building that was approved and the one that has been built, including its levels, doors, windows and roof.

“There was also unauthorised living accommodation in the roof space, making an unsafe fifth floor, where private sector housing enforcement, building control and the fire service identified a number of significant hazards.

“These included the lack of a safe means of escape from fire and inadequate fire detection and prevention equipment within the building.

“Not only is this building not in keeping with the conservation area restrictions, it’s actually dangerous to live in. We will always seek to ensure our residents are safe and will take bold steps in response to harmful breaches of planning control, as in this case.

“I hope this will deter other potential developers from ignoring planning conditions and putting residents at risk in the future.”

The properties were advertised for letting last year through Condor Estates in Luton.

The description states the one bedroom flats comprise of a fully fitted open plan kitchen with reception and dining room and a large double bedroom with en-suite shower and toilet.

The two-bedroom flats are split over two floors. These also offer an additional large study room. The property offers a decked communal garden to the rear.

The description of the building goes on to state all flats are fully furnished with new white goods, orthopedic beds, desks, cupboards etc. There are four designated parking bays which will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

One bedroom flats were offered at £675 per month while two bedroom flats were offered at £875 per month.

A person who answered the phone to the Herald & Post at Condor Estates refused to say who was the landlord of the properties.

Residents currently living in the flats will be able to seek housing advice from the housing solutions team. Anyone with concerns can contact the development control team on 01582 546302 developmentcontrol@luton.gov.uk

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