A partially built seven-bedroom house ordered to be demolished after it was found to be bigger than agreed can now be completed after a planning inspector overturned Bolton Council’s decision.

Neighbours of the property who objected say they have been ‘ignored’ and the decision will ‘open the floodgates’ for those who disregard planning rules.

Work stopped on the property in Plodder Lane, Farnworth, in 2019 after an investigation by the council.

Work had started with planning permission granted for extensions to a pair of houses, merging them into one dwelling.

However, investigations revealed that the two houses had been demolished completely and what was built was larger than approved, with the house 0.59m wider, 0.52m deeper and 0.50m higher than allowed.

Bolton Council issued an enforcement notice in September last year which ordered the demolition of the structure within 60 days due to the planning breaches.

However, an appeal against that with the HM Planning Inspectorate has now allowed the house after alterations to the plans were made to take out a dormer window on the rear roof slope.

The decision to overturn the enforcement order has been met with anger by neighbours on Tig Fold Road.

One said: “The residents are in uproar now as we invited the planning inspectorate to visit our homes to see from our point of view on why we are all objecting.

“They ignored us all so we all feel we have not had a fair chance.

“They have opened the flood gates now as this decision is basically saying it doesn’t matter what the planning committee says,

the planning inspectorate will ignore them all even though there is clear evidence this building did not have permission.

“The whole case is a disgrace all the way through.”

In the decision notice, inspector Felicity Thompson, said: ” Since the appellant’s alternative, would resolve the harm caused by the dormer, I find this to be acceptable.

“Third parties raised concerns about loss of privacy.

“However, the dwellings are located in a suburban environment where some mutual overlooking of homes and gardens is inevitable, and it seems likely that there would have been some overlooking from the windows in the former dwellings.”

Harper Green councillor Hamid Khurram said that it was his view that it was always preferable for planning decisions for Bolton to be made locally.

He said: “There is always the right to appeal and in this case the planning inspectorate have made a decision.

“This has been going on for quite a while now and at least this gives some certainty.”