Monday 24 July 2017
A senior Conservative councillor is facing jail for altering her 14th Century Listed Building cottage without getting planning permission to do so.
Barby Dashwood-Morris, 70, made some of the alterations to The Priest House in Hellingly, East Sussex, when she was chair of Wealden District Council's planning committee.
The politician, who lives with the partner Alan Proudfoot, 54, created a grand entrance hall with a glass staircase.
The £830,000 property even featured on Channel 4 show Double Your House for Half the Money as an example of how to design and renovate an old property.
Dashwood-Morris admitted six of 22 different counts of executing the demolition or alteration of a building affecting its Listed character at Brighton Magistrates' Court.
It is understood she bought the house, which dates back to 1374, in September 1997 for £224,200.
It is now estimated to be worth in excess of £830,000, having more than trebled in value in less than 20 years.
Councillor Dashwood-Morris told of her pride in 2013 when she and her des res featured on Sarah Beeny's show, but she was rumbled for making the illegal changes when she tried flogging the home two years before, when prospective buyers ordered a survey.
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