Council orders demolition of extension built in Conservation Area in Yorkshire without planning permission

The owners of a house in a Conservation Area who built an illegal extension without authorisation from the council have been ordered to pull it down.

Kirklees Council has issued an enforcement notice on applicant Sajeeda Ibrahim, a businesswoman who lives with her family at 1 Newsome Street in Dewsbury.

The notice details that a single-storey side extension with front-projecting element was built without permission, and an application for alterations to an existing conservatory to form an enclosed room had been refused.

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The work is described as ‘an incongruous development out of character with the main house’ due to its height, roof design and use of render. The order, issued in early August, required the owner of the building to demolish or remove the extension and block up an entrance within 90 days.

Newsome Street in Dewsbury is part of the Northfields Conservation AreaNewsome Street in Dewsbury is part of the Northfields Conservation Area
Newsome Street in Dewsbury is part of the Northfields Conservation Area

However, Mrs Ibrahim has appealed the ruling in documents also made available to the public. In her application, her agent argues that the extension is not ‘incongruous’ and that it had been rebuilt on the same footprint of the original L-shaped conservatory.

The agent also claimed that the boundary wall of the property, which formed the original kitchen and dining room, was ‘structurally unsafe’ with damp issues.

On the subject of the inappropriate use of render that was not in keeping with the local character, the appeal counters that there are other examples of render being used within the Northfields Conservation Area, a neighbourhood known for its large Victorian villas.

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Addressing the demolition order, the agent said it would be ‘extremely difficult’ to find a builder who could complete the job within 90 days, and that as the extension replaced the kitchen and dining room of the dwelling, the occupants would be left with an ‘uninhabitable’ house. Mrs Ibrahim has two young children.

They added that the blocking up of the door would be ‘unreasonable’ as it would leave the family with only one means of an escape in an emergency, and they would not be able to access their own garden without leaving the house and entering it from the public footpath.

The appeal case has now been passed to HM Planning Inspectorate for a hearing before an independent government inspector. Kirklees Council declined to comment further.