Central Bedfordshire Council has welcomed a Planning Inspector’s decision which means that unauthorised extensions and alterations to Random House in Barton-le-Clay will have to be demolished.
The house was granted planning permission in 2011 for the ‘erection of single storey side extension and roof alteration with rear dormer windows.’ However, the floor space was increased by 165 per cent which turned the property into a three-storey mansion.
The council has long contested that this represented disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original building and constituted inappropriate development in the green belt.
In August last year, a Planning Inspector dismissed an appeal by the owner of the house, Mr Syed Raza Shah, to overturn a refusal of planning permission and this latest decision upholds that and means that Mr Shah now has 12 months to comply, restoring the house to its pre-existing design and form and removing all the materials from the land.
In her decision, the Planning Inspector, Diane Lewis, states: “I agree with the finding of my colleague in 2015. The differences are substantial when compared to the extension and alteration work approved under the 2011 permission. Accordingly, the 2011 permission was not implemented, but a very different scheme.”
Ms Lewis added: “The Council has explained why in its opinion the extension and alteration is not permitted development. There is no evidence to lead me to conclude differently. A breach of planning control has taken place.”
Ms Lewis concluded, saying: “The current state of affairs is causing serious harm to the Green Belt and the AONB [area of outstanding natural beauty] and in the public interest should be remedied as soon as reasonably possibly.”
Jason Longhurst, Central Bedfordshire Council Director for Regeneration and Business, said: “We welcome this decision as it achieves the best possible outcome for the council, the concerned local residents and the natural environment. This outcome sends a clear message that, while we have a fair approach to the planning process, which supports and guides residents, when this advice is breached, we will apply robust enforcement measures in dealing with any unlawful, excessive, unsustainable or damaging developments.”