“Landlord in South Manchester who had developed an ingenious way of extending the first floor of their student houses have been told to remove their extensions” Alison O’Connor
Article Source: Manchester Evening News
Landlords who built bedroom extensions without permission have been ordered to tear them down - or face thousands in fines.
Twenty-four houses on just three streets in Fallowfield, Manchester, have been served with the council enforcement notices.
All have extensions to back bedrooms on the first floor – which the council says are 'out of keeping' with the area and must be removed.
All the extensions are to houses on Braemar Road, Brailsford Road and Moseley Road in the heart of Manchester's student area.
Eight of the houses are owned by one landlord, with two others owning five and six respectively. A further five landlords own one house each.
If an appeal is not lodged, all the landlords will have until September next year to pull the extensions down or face a fine of £20,000 per property.
Nigel Murphy, the council's executive member for the environment, said: "These extensions are not in character with the area, are of poor design quality and affect the appearance of the neighbourhood.
“Why should people play by the planning rules if they see the council not taking action against people who don't?
“The planning department are there to assist people with what they can and can't build and it's my understanding that these people have not consulted with them before putting these extensions up.”
Steve Lamb, a planning consultant acting for four of the landlords, said the appearance of the houses was 'a matter of judgement'.
He said: “These extensions were part of renovations that have improved properties.
“They are fairly small additions to provide a better lay-out.
“My clients accept they do not have planning permission, and they should.
“But if the council considers they are out of keeping then that is a matter of judgement.
“My clients are now considering appealing this enforcement because they believe they a good case to put.”
If the council enforcement action does go to appeal, the final decision will be made by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government MP Eric Pickles.
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