Beds, Herts & Bucks

Syed Raza Shah: Barton-Le-Clay house owner 'annoyed someone important'

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

A home owner involved in an ongoing row over an "inappropriate extension" has said he feels like he must have "annoyed someone important".

Syed Raza Shah was granted permission to increase the floor space of his Barton-Le-Clay home by about 45% in 2011.

But Central Bedfordshire Council argued the work equated to a 200% increase.

The government ruled on Thursday that a decision to permit the extension could be challenged.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said he would not contest the council's challenge against a planning inspector's ruling.

In May, the inspector granted retrospective planning permission for the home, named Random House.

But Mr Pickles intervention "effectively quashes" the decision, a council spokesman said.

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

More than just 'red tape'

Mr Shah insisted demolition was "out of the question" and he was planning to "negotiate" with the planning inspector.

Reacting to the latest ruling in the saga, he said: "I personally see something more than red tape and bureaucracy.

"I have annoyed someone important that just have it in for me."

Passing the plans back for further consideration by an inspector, 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.

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."

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