Council Confirms Dominic Cummings ‘spare cottage’ – had no planning consent, pays no council tax

11th June 2020 / United Kingdom

By TruePublica: On June 2nd, we reported that the highly controversial Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, made it clear that he had stayed at a “spare cottage” at his father’s farm when he addressed allegations that he had broken lockdown restrictions in April. The whole event turned into a public relations disaster for Boris Johnson – and still is.

Our report said – “Not yet in the mainstream media is that the cottage in Durham in question is not registered for Council Tax, nor has planning permission been sought for the cottage from Durham County Council. In other words, the owner of that property is possibly breaking the law and then knowingly defrauding the local authority. The implications of this story – if true – are surely that Cummings is not just an unfit person to be anywhere near No10 Downing Street but that he has now dragged his own family into possible legal action.

The property that is owned by Cummings father – is in fact, jointly owned with Dominic Cummings. That being the case, the ‘spare cottage’ could be considered a second home and as we all know, trips to a second home were expressly excluded as per government guidelines in combatting the Covid crisis.”

We took the story down within hours because several of our readers were unconvinced and made the case that the evidence was a bit thin. We checked again and found the story to be well researched.

In the meantime, Durham County Council received a series of complaints about the properties on Dominic Cummings parents’ farm.

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According to reports, his parents bought the farm in 1999 and records on the county council planning portal show that permission was granted two years later for the erection of a pitched roof structure over an existing swimming pool.

There is no planning consent for a dwelling on the grounds of the farm and therefore no council tax has been paid for such a building.

Stuart Timmiss, head of development and housing at Durham County Council, said: “We have now investigated the complaints regarding planning permission.

While there have been historic breaches of planning and building control regulations, current legislation places a time limit on any enforcement measures and as a result, no further action will be taken.

“The investigation concluded that the main house has not been sub-divided and that the residential use of an outbuilding for family accommodation does not require planning permission.

“However, advice has been provided in relation to building control.

“We have also looked into the complaints raised in respect of non-payment of Council Tax and will be passing our findings on to the Valuation Office for its consideration and review.”

It would be hard to prove that Dominic Cummings or his parents had deliberately decided to deceive the local authority by applying to put a roof over a swimming pool with the express intent of building a dwelling. However, that is exactly what it looks like. And in any event, Dominic Cummings would know that the rateable value of the property for council tax purposes would have changed if the council were indeed aware that it was not a swimming pool but a building for human habitation.

The council have confirmed that planning and building control regulations have been broken and it is true that the council have few powers to enforce proper regulations are followed after a time period – usually twelve months after the construction has finished.

We arrive back at the same conclusion though; Dominic Cummings does not think the rules apply to him or his family and yet the general public are somehow supposed to abide by the rules that he creates. It is, as they say – one rule for certain elites and another for everyone else.

The significant breaching of lockdown rules came straight after that car-crash ‘Rose Garden’ interview and Dominic Cummings has a lot to answer for.

The day that Boris Johnson sacks this toxic, despised and dangerous ‘special advisor,’ will be the same day that Boris Johnson becomes just a little bit more palatable.

 

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