‘Cowboy’ builder fined £5,000 over extension which needs demolished

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A COWBOY builder has been hit with a £5,000 fine after an “appalling catalogue’”of building regulation breaches left a couple’s new kitchen extension needing to be demolished.

Paul Newbrook received over £7,000 from Caroline and John Collins to carry out the work at their home in Harton House Road, South Shields.

But the extension suffered water damage after he failed to install proper weather protection, and the stability of the building was compromised because the extension was partially built on a drain and inappropriate materials were used to build it.

South Tyneside Magistrates heard that the couple have no option but to demolish the extension, with further work still needing to be carried out to repair the damage at a “substantial cost”.

Newbrook, of Robert Street, South Shields, admitted five breaches of building regulations under Building Regulations of 2010.

He pleaded guilty by post and did not attend the hearing yesterday.

Newbrook also failed to submit a Building Control Application to South Tyneside Council and didn’t notify the local authority within 48 hours of the work commencing.

Paul McCann, prosecuting on behalf of South Tyneside Council, said: “Paul Newbrook is a local builder who has been trading as such for a number of years.

In early 2013, Paul Newbrook met with Mr and Mrs Collins to discuss an extension to their kitchen. Work began on site on May 13, 2013.

“By failing to submit an application to the local authority and also failing to notify the local authority of work starting on site, the local authority was unable to assess the proposed work and prevent the breaches of the Building Regulations that followed.

“Paul Newbrook failed to use appropriate materials and exercise the standard of worksmanship that is required for a residential extension.

“Examples of this are that inadequate ventilation has been provided so that the extension will be susceptible to condensation.

“The French windows are supported by timber which will rot quickly, leaving the doors unsupported.

“Water can already be seen leaking past the timber.

“The roof on the extension is also of a poor standard.”

“Mr and Mrs Collins paid Paul Newbrook over £7,000 for the extension. The extension is of a very poor standard and there is no viable option but for the extension to be demolished.”

He added: “This will be at the cost of the homeowners who will also require further building work to rebuild the extension.

“Demolition alone would leave a large hole in the property and it is therefore not a viable option. The cost of this further work will be substantial.”

Brian Blake, chair of the magistrates, fined Newbrook £1,000 for each of the five breaches – a total of £5,000.

He was also ordered to pay court costs of £150 and a victim surcharge of £120.

Mr Blake said: “These are an appalling catalogue of breaches.”

Mr Blake said Mr and Mrs Collins could seek financial recourse by taking civil action.