A CONTROVERSIAL five-bedroomed house in Lostock has caused residents “years of torment”, a councillor has claimed, with its future still not decided.
What remains of the Regent Road house — originally built without permission — will be demolished by the developer but councillors deferred the matter again when debating its 13th planning application this week.
Planning approval was originally given for the Regent Road development, which is replacing a bungalow, in 2011, but a house far larger than permitted was built.
A retrospective application with the new dimensions was rejected, with the Planning Inspectorate upholding the refusal verdict.
A follow-up application was narrowly approved last August, but the applicant, Dr Mohammed Sidda, returned with a further application in March.
Members agreed to defer this latest application for the second time at a planning meeting this week amid concerns surrounding the building’s foundations.
Dr Sidda has now conceded that he will have to demolish what remains of the shell-like structure, but the application was still deferred after questions over whether he would be able to build on the foundations of the bigger property.
Cllr Nick Peel said: “Questions have been raised about the foundations that are in place. The applicant will have to start from scratch after it is demolished.”
Cllr Bob Allen, for Lostock, called for the application to be refused so a fresh start could be made with a new design, although Cllr Peel said this was not possible under planning law.
He added: “We cannot say ‘we are not going to deal with this any more, as it has gone on too long’, we have to deal with applications on their merits.”
Cllr Allen said: “This is the 13th application in over four years, spanning five planning committees and outlasting four different Bolton News reporters.
“If this house is to be demolished, there is the opportunity to forget the previous application and years of torment and make a fresh start with a fresh design.”
Margaret Collier, chairwoman of Lostock Residents’ Association, said: “We request the council establishes precisely what this scheme entails before members are invited to approve it.
"We do not feel the two months delay for better evidence, imposed at an earlier planning committee meeting, has been put to good use here.
"We hope the council and the applicant can engage constructively to deliver a solution.”
Dr Sidda did not attend the meeting.
The committee’s chairman, Cllr Hanif Davesh, asked planning officers to request that Dr Sidda attends the next meeting so he can answer questions from members.