Bike shed outside listed building ordered to be removed by council

The bike shed which now must be removed
This bike shed built outside a listed home has been told it must be removed after being refused planning permission (Image credit: Telford & Wrekin Council)

A homeowner has been told the small wooden bike shed he installed outside his one-bedroom property must be moved because the building is a Grade II listed former workhouse.

Barney Tierney installed the “very modest” structure in front of his home in Kyrle Close, Ironbridge, a large village in the borough of Telford and Wrekin in Shropshire.

The homeowner appealed the decision to reject planning permission claiming other sheds had been erected on the same street, but this was rejected meaning the shed will have to be removed.

What was being built?

The home, which he bought last year, does not have a rear garden and he thought the bike shed would be a "great alternative option" to save interior space and wear and tear.

“My property is a small one-bedroom building, there isn’t much space inside and keeping my bike indoors would also be problematic due to bringing dirt in and marking the walls,” said Mr Tierney.

"There is no demolition to any part of the building, there is no significant rebuilding and the bike storage does not attach in any way to the building.”

Why was planning permission required?

Telford and Wrekin Council sent a letter of complaint about the shed and told the homeowner he would need to apply for retrospective planning permission because it is a listed building, which are subject to stricter planning laws to preserve their character.

The shed is outside the Grade II listed Lincoln Grange, formerly part of the Madeley Union Workhouse, which dates back to between 1871 and 1875.

Mr Tierney added: "There are other properties in the area that have similar storage sheds in their garden, which have been accepted for planning permission.

"I have offered to paint the bike storage a desired colour and other sheds/outdoor storage are also made from timber and are also evident when entering the estate which have been granted planning permission."

Shed ordered to be removed as it presented a ‘harmful cumulative change to the listed building’

The council refused planning permission for the shed claiming this shed was more "visible" than other sheds on the road.

Despite Mr Tierney appealing the decision a planning inspector backed the council's decision stating: "This central, protruding gable is a defining characteristic of this overall aspect of the complex of listed buildings as a whole.

"As such this element provides a true focal point that helps link the symmetry of the complex together.

"Unfortunately, due to this, such a location is very sensitive to any changes that could affect this uniform and symmetrical appearance. In this case, although very modest in scale and size, the bicycle store is very visible and does introduce an unfortunate physical structure onto this principal elevation.

"As such, the symmetry is altered with a structure of much poorer quality materials that bears little architectural relationship to the special qualities of the building itself. Although I saw on my site visit that other properties did house more ancillary type shed structures within their respective curtilage, the introduction of one in this location is noticeably more visible and therefore potentially harmful."

Sam Webb

Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world.  As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.