A former county and Boston Borough councillor has been fined again – this time over £5,600 – for carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building.
Patricia Wainwright, the owner of the property on Witham Bank West in Boston was previously ordered to pay a total of £2672.63 in July 2018 for “raising the roof” at her grade II listed building.
After a number of court dates, most of which she failed to attend, she was prosecuted at Boston Magistrates’ Court on January 22, 2020, for failing to remove unlawful works carried out at her historic property. The court heard the case in her absence and found her guilty of the offence.
She was fined £3,500 and a victim surcharge of £181 was imposed. Boston Borough Council were also awarded its full legal costs of £1940.30, making a total of just over £5,621.
At the time of the original fine in 2018, it was stated that the fine would have been higher, but the magistrates took into account that builders left the site and therefore Ms Wainwright was left with unfinished building works.
She was served with a legal notice, which required her to move the new roof and return the building to its original and historically correct condition. No works were carried out within the six months given and the council said she did not seek to engage with them to find a resolution, so further legal action was taken against her.
Wainwright was elected as a UKIP councillor in Boston in 2011 before later becoming independent, but she lost her seat at borough level in 2015. She also served as a Lincolnshire County Councillor until 2017.
She previously claimed at the time of the original fine that the works did not affect the character of the building and were urgently needed to protect it from water ingress, which she believed was causing serious damp problems. Wainwright took to social media to dispute the matter further on Boston Borough Council’s Facebook page, accusing it of bias.
The council did not dispute repair works might have been needed, but felt what had been undertaken “clearly went over and above what was reasonably required to stop water getting in to the building”.
Boston Borough Council first became aware that she had employed builders to carry out renovations to her property in November 2017, despite permission being refused regarding the same works several years earlier.
Council officers inspected the property and found the entire rear element of the roof had been removed and the rear and side walls had been significantly raised. New window openings and a new roof were also built with a different profile to that of the original.
This was seen as a breach of planning rules designed to protect important historic buildings.