The owner of three Victorian cottages in an Isle of Dogs conservation area could face legal action following their illegal demolition.

Despite warnings from Tower Hamlets Council the protected buildings in East Ferry Road, which survived the First World War and the Blitz, were recently reduced to rubble without authorisation from the authority.

Councillors are now demanding the owner of the properties be forced to rebuild the 19th century cottages brick by brick.

Conservative group leader cllr Peter Golds said: “This is a criminal offence. People have got to be stopped from doing this.

“These were three of the oldest remaining homes on the Isle of Dogs.”

East Ferry Road after the demolition

The council is investigating the matter and will consider taking legal action following the “unprecedented, unauthorised demolition” of the properties in the Coldharbour conservation area.

Mayor John Biggs joined locals in condemning those responsible for destroying the buildings.

He said “I am outraged by this unwarranted and illegal demolition.

“The council is looking at its legal options, but in my view, those responsible should be made to replace these properties like for like, brick by brick.

“I can assure those who have been understandably distressed by this that the council takes protection of heritage assets seriously and we will thoroughly explore all of the options and seek to take the strongest legal remedy possible.”

Rubble is all that remains of the homes

The three properties in East Ferry Road were inspected two years ago by council officers, after concerns were raised they were structurally unsound and the building control team was served notices of intended demolition.

However, the site’s owners were advised no such demolition should take place without planning permission as the buildings were not a danger.

And several reminders were issued explaining it was a criminal offence to carry out demolition works in conservation areas without planning permission from the local authority.

Those warnings were apparently ignored.

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