A family granted permission to build a single-storey garage on their driveway in 2019 have broken their silence after constructing a much larger mini-house.
They have claimed despite breaching planning permission, it is staying as it is, and that they only use it as a gym. One person at the house even said "f*** you because we’re going to keep it. And that’s that".
The house in Highgate, Birmingham, breached the permission granted by local authorities, which saw Birmingham City Council give them until July to bring it down.
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Madam Pal Singh was granted the initial permission and now residents there have said the property ended up decked out with gym gear during Covid and is still standing today, BirminghamLive reports.
Following a knock on the door from Sun Online, a woman answering said: “We’ve not been told to demolish the property. We use it as a gym, we go in there every day.
"We all go in there – there are about four or five families around here. We all use the gym.
"We’re not ashamed of it. We’ve got nothing to prove to anyone. We’re not on benefits, we spent our hard-earned money to build what we’ve built.
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“If and when the council decide the neighbours are moaning, get it down, we will deal with it in our own way. As it is at the moment, it’s staying.”
A second woman told the publication: “Until the council gets in direct contact with us to tell us to demolish it, what we’re going to say to everyone is ‘f*** you because we’re going to keep it. And that’s that."
She added: “No-one around here has a problem with it. All the neighbours think it looks nice. It was a garage, we turned into a gym during Covid.
"The funny thing is when the council came to inspect it he saw all the gym equipment in there.
“There are punch-bags in there, there are other gym machines.”
A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council said: "We served an EN (enforcement notice) for the demolition of the unauthorised structure when the owner lost at appeal. We are in discussions with the owner re timeline. Compliance with the notice was due by July 1, 2022."
In a report, Inspector Thomas Shields said: "It is substantially larger than the approved building. It is not a minor difference.
"In comparison with the approved garage, the appeal building has a footprint of approximately 8.7m x 4.7m and a height of 5.3m. Instead of a garage door, there is a pedestrian door into the front room and a tripartite bow window. Two more windows in the rear elevation serve a separate, smaller room.
"Instead of single-storey, the appeal building is 1.5 storey and has two rooms in the roof, facilitated by an almost full-width box dormer.
"All of these differences, between what was approved, and what has been built, are not minor. Since the appeal building bears little resemblance to the scale and design of the approved single-storey garage, it does not benefit from that planning permission.
"The requirements of the notice are: demolish the entire unauthorised detached structure and remove all demolished building materials and rubble from the premises."
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