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Homeowner’s ‘Monster Mansion’ to be Demolished After Planning Breach

The home Mr Singh demolished to accommodate his four-bedroom property
The home Mr Singh demolished to accommodate his four-bedroom property (Image credit: Google Street View)

A homeowner in Walsall who built a four-bedroom property without planning permission has been ordered to demolish it.

Gurwinder Singh, had wanted to replace his smaller semi-detached property but had only received planning permission for an extension to his house on the corner of Sandringham Avenue and Arundel Road. 

Instead, he bulldozed his house and replaced it with a four-bedroom property last year which one neighbour described as a ‘monster mansion’. It is thought the build would have cost roughly £200,000, and made it the biggest property in the area. 

Last week at a Walsall Council planning meeting, councillors voted unanimously to reject a retrospective planning application for the partly-finished building and told Mr Singh to tear it down. 

The council had received 95 objections to the new building from residents.

‘Sick And Tired’

After hearing the new property was unacceptable in size and scale and caused hardship to Mr Singh’s neighbours, Walsall’s planning committee chairman Mike Bird said he was "sick and tired" of people breaching regulations and "adjoining neighbours have suffered hell".

“This is a very serious situation. An extension was approved and what we got was a brand new house to the detriment of the adjoining neighbour. Walsall Council is going to put ‘force’ back into enforcement," he said.

The decision to enforce demolition of the property was made because altering the existing structure would "prolong the disruption", senior officer Frank Whiteley said.

"There is no immediate prospect of an acceptable solution being found and on these terms, demolition is considered proportionate and reasonable," he added.

Mr Singh has since submitted a fresh retrospective planning application in the past fortnight.

Avoiding Planning Breaches

This case highlights the risks posed when you undergo a self build, extension, renovation or home improvement project without planning permission.

It’s always beneficial to plan ahead and investigate whether any improvements you want to make require council approval. And even if you get rejected planning permission, remember that it doesn’t have to be a death knell for your project. The council may suggest changes that need to occur in order for it to be approved, and you can subsequently apply again.  

Jack has worked in journalism for 11 years and is the News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, a role he has had since 2019. He strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and hydrogen heating. In 2021 he appeared on BBC's The World at One to discuss the government's planning reforms. 

He enjoys testing new tools and gadgets, and having bought his first home in 2013, he has renovated every room and recently finished a garden renovation.