Unauthorised Hopwood building removed by council

AN unauthorised building has been removed from the green belt after Bromsgrove District Council acted on complaints from residents.

A mobile home structure that appeared without planning permission on land off Stonehouse Lane in Hopwood in November 2011 has been removed after a 15-month planning enforcement process, culminating last month in the owner losing an appeal against enforcement action at the Planning Inspectorate.

Council officers initially checked and confirmed that the structure did not have planning permission in late 2011.

At that time the owner claimed that planning permission was not required because the structure was purely for animal husbandry purposes such as storing feed and washing hands.

But closer inspections of the structure by council officers revealed a property done out for human habitation with bedrooms, an en-suite, a kitchen and a lounge. A Planning Contravention Notice was issued and continued claims that the structure was only for animal husbandry did not satisfy the enforcement officers.

As a result, an Enforcement Notice was issued in April 2012 which the owner appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.  However after making a site visit the Inspector agreed with the council and dismissed the appeal in December. The structure has now been removed.

Bromsgrove district councillor Kit Taylor, responsible for planning, said: “I’m pleased we have achieved the outcome residents of Hopwood wanted. The structure had no right to be there. Planning enforcement is a complex system with various checks and balances and appeals and it takes time and some tenacity, and residents have had to be patient. But in the end, the efforts of enforcement officers have ensured the law has come out on top.”

Anyone who suspects a breach of planning control can make a complaint online or by post, with a description of the exact location and the harm being caused. Use either the ‘Planning Enforcement’ section of the council’s website at www.bromsgrove.gov.uk or write to Development Control Enforcement, Bromsgrove District Council, Burcot Lane, Bromsgrove, B60 1AA. Complainants’ details are never disclosed.

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