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Confused about Planning Permission?

A photo of Kelly Roberts
15th February 2023

It’s 2019 and somewhere in Birmingham a Homeowner has been given planning permission to build a single-storey garage on his drive, nothing unusual about that you say?

However, what he actually built was a detached two storey house! Looking at photos and reading the comments from the neighbours given to the press, the building does little to resemble a garage.

Clearly in breach, the homeowner was ordered by the Local Authority to demolish it. The homeowner appealed the order as it was being used as a “gym” and there were only “minor” changes, ultimately, he lost at appeal and an Enforcement Notice was issued.

The Planning Inspector said:

  • It was 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.
  • There are 2 more windows in the rear elevation serve a separate, smaller room.

The Inspector goes on to say:

"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."

It seems from recent reports that it is the process of being torn down and/or remodified to resemble the building they had originally been granted permission for but work seems to be ongoing at the Property in question.

This is an example of a breach of the Decision Notice which has resulted in serious consequences for the homeowner which no doubt has had some financial impact. Failing to comply with a Decision Notice or building without the correct consent is a breach. A breach will ultimately have consequences. It is the Local Planning Authority who will have responsibility for taking whatever Enforcement Action that may be necessary, they will also consider the public interest within their administrative areas.

If you are thinking of extending or carrying out work to your home and if you are in any doubt as to what applies to you then you should always consult your local Planning Office for advice. Questions about any alterations and/or extensions will be asked if you decide to sell your home so making sure you have the correct consent and can provide the correct paperwork can be important and can at times, save valuable time.

If you need any advice when selling or buying a property please contact a member of our team.