Beds, Herts & Bucks

Barton-Le-Clay 'inappropriate extension' faces demolition

Mr Shah's house in Barton-le-Clay before (above) and after
Image caption Syed Raza Shah said the house was an "eyesore" when he bought it in 2008 (top) and believed his building work improved the property

An owner's "inappropriate extension" to his home could be demolished after the communities secretary declined to back planning permission.

Eric Pickles told Central Bedfordshire Council he would not oppose a challenge to a decision to allow the extension to Random House in Barton-Le-Clay.

The council challenged an inspector's decision to grant planning permission.

The inspector was mistaken, the council claimed, and the High Court is expected to nullify his approval decision.

Syed Raza Shah was granted permission to increase the floor space of the house by about 45% in 2011.

But the council said the work done equated to more like a 200% increase and refused retrospective planning permission last August, telling Mr Shah to demolish the property.

Mr Shah's alterations amounted to a "new dwelling" and was "inappropriate development" in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Protecting environment

Mr Shah said he had made "some minor adjustments" but had "kept within the parameters".

Mr Pickles said the inspector was "insufficiently clear in his reasoning" and alterations were "disproportionate additions" to the original building.

The development was also inappropriate in the green belt, he said.

The case will now be passed back for reconsideration by the Planning Inspectorate and a judge is expected to issue a Consent Order nullifying the planning inspector's decision.

Nigel Young, executive member for regeneration at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: "The planning inspector's decision totally disregarded local residents and was completely at odds with concerns to protect the environment and to defend the countryside from inappropriate development."

Mr Shah is expected to comment later.

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