Barton home owner loses extension plea

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A Barton-le-Clay home owner must tear down much of his property after a planning inspector ruled he had built it far bigger than planning permission permitted.

Central Beds Council now plan to serve owner Syed Raza Shah, with an enforcement notice ordering him to bring the property - Random House - back to the size originally permitted.

The council has long contested that extensions and alterations – which increased the floor space by 165 per cent and turned a former bungalow into a three-storey mansion – represented disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original building and constituted inappropriate development in the green belt.

In her decision, the Planning Inspector, Bridget Campbell, said: “The extended building harms the landscape character of the area. It fails to conserve or enhance the natural beauty of the area and in this respect conflicts with the purposes of the AONB designation.”

Cllr Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration said: “We welcome this decision as it reflects both the concerns of the council and local residents in protecting the environment and defending our green belt from inappropriate and unlawful development.

“We believe there is in place a fair and accommodating planning process, which we support our residents through, but this is underpinned by a robust enforcement approach that can be applied to anyone that knowingly breaches guidance or chooses to ignore advice and subsequent action.”

Jason Longhurst, Director of Regeneration and Business, said: “The development at Random House was referred back for further reconsideration by the Planning Inspectorate following direction by the Secretary of State.

“He conceded that a previous Inspector had been insufficiently clear in his reasoning when he allowed the development, based on an increase in footprint rather than floor area.”