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Second deadline in enforcement action breached after man ordered to bulldoze Willenhall house built without planning permission

A man who was ordered to bulldoze a Willenhall house built without planning permission has ignored another deadline set by the enforcement action, council officers have confirmed.

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

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

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

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.

The owner was then given a series of deadlines, with the first giving him until October 7 to demolish the building to ground level.

The remaining deadlines ordered Mr Singh to stabilise the adjoining property by Tuesday this week and remove all below ground works by December 7.

Mr Singh was told he should submit a detailed coal mining assessments by January 7 and was given until April 7 to remove all rubble from the site.

Walsall Council's planning team said the property was visited following the first breach and they were continuing to monitor the case.

The authority confirmed that he had also breached the second deadline.

A council spokeswoman added: "If the owner is still in breach of the enforcement notice after the final April 7, 2024 deadline, the council will present the case to court."

The council has warned it could enter the land to carry out the work, and recover the costs, if the enforcement notice instructing its demolition continued to be ignored.

Following the appeal against the enforcement notice being thrown out, one resident living near the property said: "It’s been absolute hell, to be honest. None of us in the area objected to the side extension.

“But the whole house was knocked down and this was put up in its place. It’s hideous, it’s a monstrosity – which is why the whole community got involved in this.

“The appeal has been rejected and he’s got to knock it down and we hope it is done properly. It’s been a long three years and I’m pleased although sad it had to come to this.

“But if they’d gone by the rules they could have been living in the house for two years by now.”

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.

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.

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