A man’s home is his castle – especially when he’s spent £100,000 lovingly transforming it from a 1960s bungalow.
Businessman Syed Raza Shah spent most of his life savings adding two extra storeys to the flat-roofed property, not to mention a turret and sweeping balconies.
The result is a seven-bedroom home for him, his wife Farah and their four teenage children, worth £2million.
Trouble is, the council says that wasn’t quite what Mr Shah had permission to do – so it has served him with an enforcement order to demolish the house.
Mr Shah was granted planning permission to increase the floor space of the old house by around 45 per cent, and to build a new roof, but the council says he has far exceeded that, effectively making it a ‘new build’.
He applied for retrospective planning permission for what he calls the ‘minor adjustments’ to the bungalow, but it was refused because the house is in the green belt and an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Yesterday Mr Shah, 45, a director of a beauty salon, who is appealing against the decision, admitted he ‘bent the rules slightly’.
But he disputes the council’s claim that he has increased the floor space by 200 per cent and questions why it waited until the end of the 18-month construction before ordering his new home to be razed to the ground.
He said: ‘The council haven’t done their homework properly before issuing an enforcement notice.
‘Their 200 per cent figure is ridiculous. They have lost the plot. I have measured it myself and I’ve increased it by 12 to 15 per cent. Yes, I have bent the rules slightly. But I only did it to make it aesthetically more pleasing. The old building was dilapidated; it was just awful. It was ugly and people have said it looked like a caravan site.
‘Yes, we have made some minor adjustments, but I don’t see the decision that has been made justifies demolishing the house.
‘I apologise for bending the rules, but the building has been going on for months.’
He bought the five-bedroom bungalow in the village of Barton-Le-Clay in Bedfordshire for £750,000 in 2008, and started work on extending it.
Called The White House, it is set back 200ft from the road and approached by a winding driveway, with the nearest neighbours 20 yards away on either side.
There have been 11 formal complaints from neighbours, who say the property ‘clashes with other houses on the road’ and it ‘sticks out like a sore thumb’. The parish council also says it is ‘out of character’ and ‘disproportionate’.
But Mr Shah countered: ‘It doesn’t overlook anyone, and you’ve always been able to see it from the road.’
Councillor Nigel Young said: ‘Councils must follow planning law and planning regulation and this is well outside planning regulation, so we are obliged, as we are with all cases of unlawful development, to act on behalf of all our residents and issue enforcement notices.’
Source / Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2425348/Man-ordered-demolish-2m-home-doubling-size-WITHOUT-planning-permission.html