Resident ordered to tear down house on driveway after being granted permission to build a garage
A man who built a house on his driveway after only being given permission to build a garage has been ordered to tear it down by the local council.
The homeowner had originally been given approval to build a single-storey garage at his semi-detached property in 2019.
But council bosses were shocked when they discovered a two-storey detached home had been erected at the end of the driveway instead.
The ambitious developer 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 remains standing at the property in Highgate, Birmingham.
A woman who answered the door at the address on Monday refused to comment on the situation.
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.
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"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. "
Disparities between the approved plans and existing structure include the fact that instead of single-storey, the appeal building is 1.5 storey and has two rooms in the roof. Instead of a garage door, there is a pedestrian door into the front room and a tripartite bow window, and two more windows in the rear elevation serve a separate, smaller room.
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The report continued: "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 owner was ordered to "demolish the entire unauthorised detached structure" and "remove all demolished building materials and rubble from the premises", but failed to do so.
A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council said: "We served an enforcement notice for the demolition of the unauthorised structure when the owner lost at appeal.
"We are in discussions with the owner regarding the timeline. Compliance with the notice was due by 1 July, 2022."