Editor's pick: Council faulted over home demolition requirement

An enforcement notice requiring the owners of a dwelling in Cornwall to completely demolish it has been quashed, with full costs awarded to the appellants.

The appellants had bought the site with an extant permission for a dwellinghouse but constructed the property with a different roof and a bathroom dormer. The neighbours complained that the roof exceeded the height granted permission and compromised their amenity and outlook. The council refused retrospective consent for the variation and issued the enforcement notice, against officers' advice.

The inspector found that the approved plans were incapable of implementation at the ridge level specified because this would require excavating the building by a depth of one metre. She held that the council had failed to examine the implications of the approved plans and its claim that the roof height was excessive was misconceived.

As the authority did not specifically object to the hipped roof design or the dormer window, she saw no need to require complete demolition of the building. In her view, the dwelling was not appreciably different from the approved plans and conditions could be imposed to require certain windows to be obscure glazed or fitted with mechanisms to restrict their opening. The council had acted unreasonably in issuing the notice, she held.

Inspector: Jane Stiles; Hearing

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