A COUNCIL has prosecuted a man after he caused “irreversible damage” to a listed building.

Graham Carter admitted 21 cases of unauthorised alterations to Brook Hall, Latchingdon, a Grade II listed house dating from the 15th century.

He was fined £50,250 and must pay Maldon District Council’s £2,318 costs.

Magistrates said Mr Carter had made “significant and irreparable changes to the listed building” and had “deliberately flouted the law”.

The unauthorised work mainly affected a Georgian service wing, and included the demolition of a chimney stack, alterations to the timber-framed structure, and the use of air-abrasive equipment to clean timbers. Magistrates initially wanted a fine of £75,000, but gave credit for an early guilty plea and co-operating with the council.

Councillor Penny Channer said: “The Maldon district contains a unique collection of historic houses, and we have an excellent record of working with owners to help care for this heritage.

“In the small minority of cases where individuals ignore the need for listed building consent and make damaging alterations to these historic houses, the council must take a firm stance.”