Builder says he will defy council over home which was built in village without planning permission

A builder says he will defy council demands over a new home in an east Cleveland village which was built without planning permission.

Malcolm Hughlock has been given three months to comply with various conditions attached to the property in Serenity Hollow, Boosbeck, including the removal of a balcony area, which planners describe as unacceptably overlooking an adjacent bungalow.

The 68-year-old, who describes himself as being “different from the norm”, applied for and was subsequently granted retrospective permission for the two storey detached modular-built home, which uses rubber tyres filled with concrete in its foundations.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But in agreeing the permission, members of Redcar and Cleveland Council’s regulatory committee imposed several planning conditions and requested that a “strongly worded letter” be sent to him warning of immediate action should he not comply.

Malcolm Hughlock in front of the property in Serenity Hollow, Boosbeck

Mr Hughlock said he intended to ignore the council and let matters go to an appeal should he be given an enforcement notice.

Read More

Read More
Vehicle and dog seized as police officers tackle suspected hare coursing inciden...

He said the balcony, which is reached via a set of french doors the council also wants altered, was used by a tenant renting the property solely for gardening and not to sit on.

Mr Hughlock said: “If you take the balcony off it just becomes a square house. This is not about the cost, it is about having things that look really nice.”

The property has been described as an 'eyesore' by local residents

Several residents in nearby Wandhill Gardens have objected to the building, describing it as an “eyesore”, stating it impinges on their privacy and is not compatible with the housing around it.

But Mr Hughlock said he would have had to “gamble” on the design had he applied for full planning permission from the start.

Councillor Stuart Smith, chairman of the council’s regulatory committee, said: “It is quite an unusual development and there was a concern that old tyres have been used for the foundations with concrete then laid on top.

“The building regulations team are to arrange an inspection to see how safe it is. The applicant has also been informed that he cannot and should not do any further developments without proper consultation with the local authority.”

Mr Hughlock said: “If they [the council] would allow me to put in for planning and do slight alterations, it would be fine, but every alteration needs a full planning application. It’s also to do with how I buy stuff – it isn’t like I have wads of money – I can build something and might end up putting different windows in.”

Mr Hughlock said the house was a prototype built in a factory which had won awards and he was “into the future [of housebuilding] big style”, as well as “thinking outside the box”.

He said: “The land isn’t dodgy and I wanted to do a design where you could put it down without going to the massive expense of doing the footings.

“In America they do motorways [with tyres] and have had all these tests done. The foundations are very solid. They are not conventional, but they are eight foot deep filled with concrete. It’s been there a year [the house] and has never moved a millimetre.”

A council spokesman said Mr Hughlock had been advised to cease works, but carried on building the property.

He said: “The [planning] committee expressed the view that the applicant had displayed a wilful disregard for the regulations, but they recognised that in granting retrospective permission planning conditions could be used to secure an amended scheme.”

The spokesman said Mr Hughlock was fully aware of the council’s requirements as the conditions were agreed with him.

He said: “The applicant has three months to comply and if he does not then we have the option to serve a breach of condition notice, or a more general planning enforcement notice.

“His actions have used up valuable staff resources, unnecessarily complicated and prolonged the planning process and caused some distress to adjoining occupiers. It has been made clear that if he [behaves] in a similar manner on any future development the council [will] use appropriate powers to restrain or halt any development.”

The spokesman said that it was not acceptable to carry out building work in breach of planning and building regulations, adding: “If a developer or landowner decides to carry out such work, they do so entirely at their own risk.

“Partial completion, or indeed completion of works is not a matter that is taken into account when deciding an application and if the works carried out are not considered acceptable then enforcement proceedings may commence.”