DOMINIC Cummings and his family ARE liable to pay council tax on a further two properties at their North-East farm, but charges will NOT be backdated to when they were built. This is as a result of our EXCLUSIVE story on June.
This means that years of unpaid council tax will be written off. Potentially between £30,000 and £50,000, on not one, but two homes built in breach of planning laws has been avoided by the Cummings family.
Instead, new charges for the properties on the outskirts of Durham will come into effect from the start of this month following an investigation by the Valuation Agency Office.
Durham County Councillor John Shuttleworth said:
“They should have informed them (the authorities) and it should have been checked.
“If it was anybody else, they would be getting charged and it would be backdated, or they would be getting taken to court.
“It just proves there is two sets of rules, one for them and another for everyone else. It is not right.“
We have to abide by the law and it we don’t you get put in prison or you get fined. They are just above it.”
As we previously revealed, Dominic Cummings is listed as one of the property owners.
After an investigation in June, The Northern Echo revealed the lockdown cottage at North Lodge on the A167 Darlington Road was in breach of planning laws.
After our investigation raised significant public interest, Durham County Council launched an investigation and found there had been “historic breaches of planning building control regulations“, but no enforcement action could be taken due to the amount of time that had passed.
It is understood council tax will now have to be paid on Dominic Cummings’ band A cottage, and his sister’s band C family home, as well as the main house which his parents reside in.
The Valuation Agency Office does not comment on individual cases, and the family did not respond when asked for a comment on the issue.
John Hewitt, corporate director of resources at Durham County Council, said
“I can confirm that the Valuation Office Agency have concluded their inspection and provided us with details of the required changes to the valuation list in respect of North Lodge, where the current single assessment will be replaced with three entries in the rating list going forward.
“These changes will be implemented with effect from October 4, 2020, which is the date we have been instructed to apply the changes from.
“The date from which the rating list is to be amended is a matter for the Valuation Office Agency.
“We are instructed that they have made their assessment in line with the relevant legislation and custom and practice in terms of such changes in accordance with Article 3 of the Council Tax (Chargeable Dwellings) Order 1993.”
This latest story was revealed by the Northern Echo who have tried to claim they investigated and revealed the original breach.
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