House not built to planning permission specification at risk of demolition

Two retrospective planning applications for a house in Lightwood, Staffordshire, have been rejected by Stoke-on-Trent Council, after the property was found to have been built with a ridge line 75cm higher than the planning permission.

The property’s original planning permission for a two-storey house was granted in 2016. However, the completed house was built with two dormer windows in the eaves and the roof ridge higher than the approved plans. The error was only detected on an inspection that took place after the family had moved in.

The applicant’s appeal received 31 objections and seven letters of support, and he said he had a petition of support signed by neighbours.

On 9th May 2018, council planning committee members recommended that enforcement action take place, which would ultimately lead to the house being demolished, although others felt that would be a disproportionate response, and that it “is not reasonable or in the public interest to take such draconian action.” Allowing the house to remain would set a precedent that could be used by developers to ‘build what they like’.

The committee described the property as a well designed house, but that it was proportionally too high. It was agreed to refuse the retrospective planning but the decision was deferred by ten votes with one abstention, to allow the council time for compromise discussions with the applicant.

It has been estimated that the cost of reducing the height of the roof could be as much as £200,000.

Make sure the house you are buying has been built or extended in accordance with its planning permission. Contact your local RICS Chartered Surveyor in Stoke-on-Trent, or elsewhere in Staffordshire, England and Wales, for all your commercial or home property surveying services from a local surveying professional.


Back to May 2018 Newsletter