Homeowner demolishes 'monster mansion' with no planning permission

The homeowner started building a large new house without the correct permission to replace his smaller property and now has demolished it
The homeowner started building a large new house without the correct permission to replace his smaller semi-detached property and now has demolished it -Credit:© SWNS

A homeowner has finally demolished a "monster mansion" he built without planning permission - but still faces legal action for the mess left behind which neighbours say looks even worse. Gurwinder Singh sparked anger when he knocked down his modest semi-detached house and replaced it with a four-bedroom property in Willenhall, West Mids.

He was ordered to tear down the half-built £300,000 home by Walsall Council in 2020 following almost 100 complaints from fuming neighbours. Residents complained the building work had made their "lives hell" and others described the "eyesore" as "like a Travelodge in the middle of a housing estate".

Delivery driver Mr Singh, 43, appealed to the council's Planning Inspectorate but they dismissed the appeal and ordered him to bulldoze the property by April 7. The dad-of-two has since demolished the illegal build - but left behind piles of rubble rubbish and building materials, which he has failed to tidy up.

He now faces possible court action for failing to comply with the enforcement notice following the four year row. Locals living in the area say the mess left behind by Mr Singh has left the residential estate looking like "a construction site in the middle of Birmingham".

Grandfather-of-four Cliff Stevenson, 84, a retired mechanic, lives opposite the house and branded it 'an appalling eyesore'. He said: "We've got the house knocked down finally but now the problem is all the mess and these great big boards he has erected.

"It also causes a problem for the traffic because it blocks people's view on the corner - it's really quite dangerous. "I live opposite so have to look at it every single day and it's an appalling eyesore. It has been a nightmare for everyone living on the estate.

"The gentleman has never spoken to us about it, the only time you would see him was when building work was going on, which was disruptive enough. It was left half built and kids would jump over the fences and go and play in there. It's just been a building site really.

Google street view from before the building work started and it was a normal semi
Google street view from before the building work started and it was a normal semi detached home -Credit:© SWNS

"We'll get there eventually hopefully but it seems like it's never-ending. It has just been terrible." Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We can't believe this saga is still going on - it's a joke and been a living hell.

"The house is now gone, thank goodness, but it looks just as bad, if not worse, due to the mess he has left behind. Our road looks like a construction site in the middle of Birmingham at the moment. It needs sorting out because it's beyond a joke now."

A third local, who did not want to be named, added: "The council should never have let it get to the size it did in the first place. "It was enormous and looked ridiculous. Now there's building materials strewn around the place and the site needs clearing.

"He was also told to repair the damage he has caused to his neighbours' house too, but this hasn't been done. I think he just believed he could do whatever he wanted as it was his land and he's been a bit ignorant.

"He wants to rebuild it again. It's going to have cost them a fortune by the time he's built two houses." Tory councillor Stacie Elson said Mr Singh the council were now looking to prosecute Mr Singh because the deadline had passed.

She added: "I know the council is now taking legal advice whether to now prosecute him for failing to comply with the enforcement notice. If he has actively breached the notice then he could be prosecuted as the site should have been cleared up by now as the deadline has passed.

"He has complied with the demolition order but he has not cleared the site. An enforcement officer has been down there to take photos and these will now be submitted to our legal services department who will advise the next steps."

A Walsall Council spokesperson said: “The council is monitoring the situation to ensure all actions in the enforcement notice are complied with.”