'Arrogant' developer builds Sharples house bigger than planning permission allows
6:00am Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News
A DEVELOPER showed “arrogance towards the planning process” by making changes to his home without permission, a town hall meeting heard.
Changes to Highcroft in Sweetloves Lane, Sharples, have had an “adverse impact” on the living conditions of neighbours, according to a report into the development.
Planning permission for the demolition of the original house and the building of a larger house was approved in January, 2011.
However, the final building was different to the approved proposals.
The front of the house projects further forward than the original plans, and the building is also taller than it should be.
The garage is larger than was permitted and there is also one extra roof light on the property.
But Bolton Council’s planning committee deferred a decision on retrospective planning permission — rather than reject the application by developer Usman Buksh.
The decision was branded “nonsensical” by one councillor, while a neighbour said the building was ruining his family’s life.
Sabbir Mohamed, who lives next to the Highcroft property in Stonyhurst Avenue, said: “I’m gutted.
“This building is ruining our lives — my kids are too scared to go in the garden and in every corner of my house all we can see is that building.”
He was also angry to find out that a letter was sent in with his name on it saying he supported the development, a letter he claimed he never submitted to the council.
In a report, the planning officer recommended that the latest application should be rejected because of the “adverse impact on the living conditions of neighbours”.
At the meeting, Conservative councillor Hilary Fairclough said: “The residents have raised concerns to this developer but he has simply carried on to his own needs, with little regard to neighbours.”
Labour’s Cllr Nick Peel said that although the applicant had shown “arrogance towards the planning process”, he suggested deferring the application so the applicant could rectify those issues and submit updated plans.
But Cllr Guy Harkin said: “This would send out the impression that you can do whatever you want once you have planning permission and then negotiate with the council. This must be refused.”
The committee voted in favour of deferring the application by 11 votes to nine, a decision described as “nonsensical” by Cllr John Walsh. He added: “I’m totally mystified — there were 10 discrepancies with this application and the only option was to refuse.”
Mr Buksh was unavailable for comment.
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