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Owner of Willenhall house built without permission starts demolishing it

Work has started to tear down a Willenhall house built without planning permission.

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The house in Sandringham Avenue, Willenhall, is being knocked down

Walsall Council slapped an enforcement notice on the owner of the property in 2022 demanding the four-bedroom partially-built property be demolished after it was erected in Sandringham Avenue without permission.

Owners had been granted permission for a side extension but sparked uproar in the area as the original modest semi-detached home was taken down and the larger property built in its place.

An appeal against an enforcement notice, issued by the council, was lodged but the planning inspectorate threw it out in July.

The shell of a new four-bedroom house on Sandringham Avenue built without permission

Residents living in Sandringham Avenue and Arundel Road welcomed the decision saying they had lived in ‘absolute hell’ for years because of the shell of a new house sitting on the junction of the two streets.

But the council said it would be "monitoring the compliance" of the enforcement notice in light of the first deadline being missed to demolish the building to ground level by October 7.

The owners were also threatened with court action if they failed to complete all work by April 7 next year.

But now, work has finally started to dismantle the property and the first floor of the building has been torn down.

A Walsall Council spokesman today confirmed the authority had bene made aware that "works have commenced to start complying with the enforcement notice".

The original semi-detached property in Sandringham Avenue before it was rebuilt. Photo: Google Street View

The owners applied for a two-storey side extension in late 2020, which was given permission in May 2021, with work starting shortly after.

When enforcement got involved, two retrospective planning applications were submitted – the first of which was withdrawn and the second refused.

The owners appealed to the planning inspectorate on the grounds the planning permission should have been granted and there was no breach as alleged by the enforcement notice.

An enforcement notice was issued in 2022

They also said the actions listed in the notice to remedy the issue were too excessive and could be resolved with lesser steps, and that the time given to comply with the notice was too short.

Inspector Andrew McGlone was also told they stopped work immediately when the matter was raised and added “they will never likely be able to build or own a house again”.

But the appeal was refused and Mr McGlone ordered the enforcement notice be upheld, meaning the house and an outbuilding in the rear garden will have to be demolished.