Homeowner who bought house that didn't have permission for its extension fined £160 for refusing to demolish it

A front view of the yellow brick terraced property with the white single storey extension visible
The single-storey extension can still be seen to the front of the terraced property in Bradford (Image credit: Google)

A homeowner in Bradford has been fined £160 because he did not get rid of an extension built without planning permission and “burying his head in the sand” when an enforcement notice was served, a court heard.

Mohammed Ghafoor, of Harlow Road, Lidget Green, was ordered to tear down the structure after the previous owner carried out building an extension to the front of the house without planning permission. 

But after failing to demolish the structure nine years after it was built and seven years after he took ownership of the property, Ghafoor appeared before Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court. He pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an enforcement notice dating back to 2014, reports the Telegraph and Argus.

What did the homeowner build?

Ruksana Kosser, prosecuting on behalf of Bradford Council, said planning officers had been notified of an unauthorised front extension on the terraced property in May 2014. Planning permission for extensions had not been sought nor given approval.

According to images, the extension appears to be a white uPVC and glazed single storey structure added to the front of the property. 

The person who owned the property at the time was informed the extension did not have planning permission, and later submitted a retrospective planning application, which was refused.

Denied retrospective planning permission

Planners refused the retrospective application, stating: “The development, by reason of its size, design and choice of materials, represents an unwelcome and strident feature, visually incongruous with the existing buildings.

They added it was “harmful to the visual amenity of the host building and character of the wider street scene.”

An enforcement notice was subsequently issued demanding the extension be removed.

Action taken against new homeowner in 2016

Mr Ghafoor took ownership of the property in 2016. The court heard that the requirement to pull down the extension was transferred with ownership.

Magistrates were told that Ghafoor had “buried his head in the sand” over the issue, and the case surrounded “not something he’s done, but something he hasn’t done”, according to the Telegraph and Argus.

Fined by court but still hasn't demolished it

Mr Ghafoor was fined £160 and ordered to pay £1,428 in costs, as well as a £30 surcharge. Mr Ghafour was informed that he still needs to demolish the extension, which he still does not appear to have done.

It's worth pointing out that some small extensions, porches and other structures can fall under permitted development, which enables homeowners to go ahead with a project without needing to apply for planning permission. But there are often strict restrictions and rules, meaning it is always best to obtain a lawful development certificate to check the project complies before going ahead with works.

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.