A resident who built a detached house on his driveway after only being given permission to build a garage has been ordered to tear it down following a planning row.
The homeowner had originally been given approval to build a single-storey garage at their semi-detached property on Vaughton Street, in Highgate, Birmingham, in 2019.
But council bosses were left shocked when they discovered a small two-storey detached family home had been erected at the end of the driveway instead. The owner was ordered to demolish the residential dwelling following an appeal, during which he argued there were only ‘minor differences’ to what was approved.
He was given until July to pull down the new building for being in breach of the original planning permission - but it still remains standing now. A woman who answered the door at the address today (Monday, October 24) refused to comment when approached.
But one neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "We just assumed they had permission to do that in the first place. I think they built it for an elderly relative who appears to come in and out of there quite frequently.
"You’re never happy to see extensions or new-builds going up blocking out sunlight or replacing gardens and trees but it’s just what people do. But if it was only given permission to be a garage I cannot see how they thought they would ever get away with it. It’s clearly a house. How on earth they were planning to pass that off as garage, God only knows."
Planners had originally given approval for a 5.3m x 4.6m garage to be built at the location which the new building currently exceeds. Planning Inspector Thomas Shields wrote in his report after visiting the house in March: "The appellant’s case is that the building already benefits from planning permission granted by the council in 2019.
"He argues that although there are differences between the approved plans for the garage and the appeal building they are minor differences. The approved plans for the garage show a single storey detached garage with a footprint of 5.3m x 4.6m and a height of 3.6m.
"It was also shown having a standard garage door to the front and no windows on any elevation. In comparison with the approved garage the appeal building has a footprint of approximately 8.7m x 4.7m and a height of 5.3m
"Consequently, it is substantially larger than the approved building. It is not a minor difference. There are some other differences. Instead of single-storey, the appeal building is 1.5 storey and has two rooms in the roof, facilitated by an almost full-width box dormer.
"Instead of a garage door, there is a pedestrian door into the front room and a tripartite bow window. Two more windows in the rear elevation serve a separate, smaller room.
"All of these differences, between what was approved, and what has been built, are not minor. Since the appeal building bears little resemblance to the scale and design of the approved single-storey garage, it does not benefit from that planning permission.
"The requirements of the notice are: demolish the entire unauthorised detached structure and remove all demolished building materials and rubble from the premises."
A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council said: "We served an EN (enforcement notice) for the demolition of the unauthorised structure when the owner lost at appeal. We are in discussions with the owner re timeline. Compliance with the notice was due by July 1, 2022."
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