Hampstead Heath chalet: painter ordered to tear down her £1 million wooden lodge on the Vale of Health
A woman who built a £1 million chalet on Hampstead Heath without planning permission has been ordered to demolish it after a planning inspector ruled against her.
Painter Jita Lukka, 55, built the one-storey wooden lodge overlooking the Vale of Health pond for £700,000 in March 2017. However, Camden council served an enforcement notice on her in January 2018 following complaints from neighbours.
She argued that the structure, Bren Cottage, was “essentially the same” as a temporary shack previously on the site. She launched an appeal but inspector John Murray said he was not persuaded by her claim.
The plot had been occupied by a man called Robbie Litvai, who lived in a temporary shack he built on it.
Bren Cottage: the one-storey chalet built by Jita Lukka overlooking the Vale of Health (SWNS.com)
Ms Lukka, who came to the UK as a refugee from Uganda in the Seventies, argued she simply cleared away rubbish, cut back trees and repaired structures built by Mr Litvai since 2005.
She said she had used recycled materials to do up the shack.
In a previous interview she said: “I saw the site and didn’t think it would be worth much so I met the owners and they asked me to make an offer. It is a lovely spot. I’m not a property developer. I have just made somewhere peaceful to live.”
She declined to comment following the inspector’s ruling.
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Mark Hutchinson, chairman of the Heath and Hampstead Society, said: “We welcome the decision that the illegal and unsightly house must be demolished.”
The ruling means an enforcement notice served by the council in 2018 stands and that Ms Lukka must dismantle her home and “make good” the plot.