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Demolished Erno Goldfinger building ordered to be rebuilt

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A developer who illegally knocked down part of a listed Erno Goldfinger-designed school in west London has been ordered to ‘exactly rebuild’ the bulldozed building.

ajiv Laxman, the sole director of company Abrus, was also slapped with 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.

Built in 1952, the school is one of only two completed by the Hungarian-born Modernist architect who is best known for his Trellick tower in Paddington.

The prosecution was brought by Wandsworth Borough Council acting on reports from local residents early this year that - even though he had been refused listed building consent by both the authority and the planning inspector - Laxman had demolished most of the small, wing-roofed house with a mechanical digger.

The action was supported by the Twentieth Century Society claimed the decision from the South Western Magistrates Court would send a ’firm message to developers.’

A spokesman said: ‘Although the original historic building has been irretrievably lost - and the end product of the enforcement action will at best be a facsimile – the [Society] is pleased by this result, as the costs to the developer will act as a more effective deterrent than the fine imposed.’

Laxman could face further, unlimited, fines in the Crown Court if he does not comply with the order ‘to rebuild the property to exactly match its former appearance, using the same Goldfinger design and materials’.

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