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Goldfinger bulldozer fined again

The developer who illegally knocked down part of a listed Erno Goldfinger-designed school in west London has been fined for a second time for failing to 'exactly rebuild' the bulldozed building.

Last November (AJ 29.11.07) Rajiv Laxman, sole director of developer Abrus, was ordered to pay an £11,000 bill in costs and fines after he flattened the former caretaker's cottage at the Grade II-listed Brandlehow School in Putney.

Now Laxman has been slapped with another £13,000 wrap (£6,200 fine and £6,800 costs) following further action by Wandsworth Borough Council, which has obtained an order demanding he rebuilds the small 1952 wing-roofed house.

The original block was part of one of only two schools completed by the Hungarian-born Modernist architect, best known for his Trellick Tower in Paddington.

Even though Laxman had been refused listed building consent by both the authority and the planning inspector, he continued to demolish most of the cottage with a mechanical digger and has since left the plot to rot.

If he fails to comply with the order he face a third court appearance at South Western Magistrates Court and, potentially, unlimited fines.

The council's planning applications chairman Leslie McDonnell said: ‘Laxman has already been to court twice as a result of his flagrant breaches of these important planning laws.

‘If he continues to ignore the notice he faces every prospect of appearing before the courts yet again.’

McDonnell added: ‘This is an important building and the council is determined to ensure that the enforcement notice is complied with and the cottage rebuilt.’

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