Homeowner who built bungalow without planning permission 11 years ago fined £7,500 after refusing to demolish it

A redbrick bungalow with white cladding and a clay tiled roof
The bungalow Peter Dick built over a decade ago without planning permission (Image credit: BNPS)

A landowner who built a £500,000 bungalow on greenbelt land has been ordered to tear it down and must pay a £7,500 fine and £3,269 prosecution costs.

Eleven years ago Peter Dick, 74, erected the property on a plot of land he owns in the village of West Parley, near Bournemouth in Dorset, without planning permission. The site is on greenbelt land as well as being 400 metres from a conservation area and Site of Scientific Special Interest.

The 74-year-old told the court he had the illegal house built for his wife as she has degenerative muscular dystrophy and could not live in the site’s lawful dwelling.

Why didn't he submit planning permission?

His retrospective planning application to legalise the property in West Parley, near Bournemouth, Dorset, was denied in 2012.

Mr Dick was then embroiled in a planning dispute with the local authority for more than a decade, with multiple planning applications and appeals that failed.

He was taken to court by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) and after a trial on May 2nd he was found guilty of failing to knock the bungalow down.

In court, he said: “My wife has muscular dystrophy which is progressive and the layout of the house is designed for her. The older structure, a converted industrial building, does not have facilities for her.”

When was he first told to demolish the bungalow?

Mary Almeida, representing Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, said there was an enforcement notice issued by Christchurch Borough Council in 2012.

She said the council had given the defendant from August 11, 2021, until November 27, 2021, to demolish the unauthorised brick property.

“It is the council case that Mr Dick is still in breach of the notice, and he has not raised any valid defence to these proceedings,” Ms Almeida said, reports the Bournemouth Echo

Can the council demolish the bungalow?

Under S.179 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1990, planning authorities have the power to enter land and take the steps required by notices issued under the provisions of the Act where those requirements have not been complied with in the time specified by the notice.

Additionally, planners may recover any reasonably incurred expense in exercising its direct action powers and may sell any materials removed whilst executing the works and off-set the proceeds against the cost.

Sentencing, magistrate chair David Murray, told Mr Dick: “You have taken a course of action which has put you on a collision course with council and planning rules.”

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.