Ex-planning boss Barby Dashwood-Morris in £75k house fine
A former council planning boss has been fined £75,000 for making illegal and irreversible changes to her Grade II-listed home.
Barby Dashwood-Morris admitted renovating the 600-year-old property while chairman of Wealden District Council's planning committee.
Brighton Magistrates Court heard the work was a "substantial erosion" of history.
Her former partner and co-defendant, Alan Proudfoot, was also fined £48,000.
The changes to her Hellingly house, which included knocking down a wall and installing windows, were discovered when she tried to sell it.
District judge Teresa Szagun said she "intentionally disregarded the requirement for consent - focussing on [her] own needs".
Dashwood-Morris had earlier admitted six counts of breaching planning law, while Proudfoot pleaded guilty to four charges of breaching planning regulations.
Mitigating, Stephen Whale told magistrates: "There was certainly no intention to commit offences and neither were they reckless."
In a statement Dashwood-Morris told the court the pair "strongly believed at the time" the works did "not require authorisation."
Michael Sanders, of the Hailsham Historical and Natural History Society, described the changes as "historic vandalism".
He added: "We can't have people going around changing things whenever they like. It is very alarming."
The interior was filmed for Channel 4 show Double Your House for Half the Money, but it was never aired.
Kelvin Williams, the council's head of planning, said: "Owners of historic properties should be aware of their responsibilities to the property and future generations."