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25th Oct 2022

Man who built tiny house on driveway instead of garage must demolish it

Charlie Herbert

He claims the building only has ‘minor differences’ to the one he got approval for

A man who decided to build a tiny house on his driveway has been told to demolish it because he didn’t have permission.

The homeowner was given approval to build a single-storey garage outside his semi on Vaughton Street, Birmingham, in 2019.

But instead of a garage, the man went ahead and built a two-storey family home at the end of his driveway, leaving council bosses shocked.

The owner has argued that there are only “minor differences” to the build which was approved, but the town hall were having none of it, and gave him until July this year to knock it down.

But the little house is still there.

One neighbour said: “We just assumed they had permission to do that in the first place.

“I think they built it for an elderly relative who appears to come in and out of there quite frequently.

“You’re never happy to see extensions or new-builds going up blocking out sunlight or replacing gardens and trees but it’s just what people do.

“But if it was only given permission to be a garage, I cannot see how they thought they would ever get away with it. It’s clearly a house.

“How on earth they were planning to pass that off as garage, God only knows.”

In his report, planning Inspector Thomas Shields said the house is “substantially larger” than the approved garage.

He noted the new-build has two rooms on the second floor, made possible by a full-width box dormer extension out the roof.

Instead of a garage door, there was a little pedestrian entrance into the front room, along with several windows around the property.

“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,” Shields wrote.

“The requirements of the notice are: demolish the entire unauthorised detached structure and remove all demolished building materials and rubble from the premises.”

A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council said: “We served an enforcement notice for the demolition of the unauthorised structure when the owner lost at appeal.

“We are in discussions with the owner regarding timeline. Compliance with the notice was due by July 1, 2022.”

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