Owner given 12 months to remove extension from East Cambs home after losing planning appeal

9 Stretham Road, Wicken

9 Stretham Road, Wicken - Credit: Archant

A couple who turned a three bedroom farmhouse into a six-bedroomed detached house - without getting planning permission- have lost an appeal to keep it.

Richard Lee and Selica Sevigny have been given a year to remove those parts of 9 Stretham Road, Wicken, that were built without planning permission.

East Cambs District Council’s decision to issue an enforcement notice was upheld by the Planning Inspectorate.

Government inspector Keri Williams allowed the couple to keep a single storey porch extension and compromised on the time allowed to put matters right.

The council ruled the breach of planning control included the building of a three storey rear extension with twin mansard roof and a first floor rear balcony.

Mr Williams said the main issue was the effect of the development on the character and appearance of the building and of the surrounding area.

He said before the extension, the house was “of a simple form, with a broadly L—shaped floor plan”. Since then the house has been extended substantially to the rear to provide two wings, each with a mansard roof.

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Mr Williams accepted permission had been given in 2013 for a “substantial re-modelling” of the house and he accepted that given the size of the plot “an innovative design of sufficient quality need not be out of place”.

But he argued that overall the adoption of mansard roofs “has resulted in an unduly bulky roof shape with a truncated appearance towards the rear and an awkward junction with the original roof”. This, he said, gave it “an incongruous appearance”.

The inspector agreed there was some local support for allowing the extension to remain and he considered a petition forwarded by the couple.

But overall the form and massing of the twin-winged extension failed to meet the requirements for a high quality design.

Mr Williams says the requirements needed to remedy the breach of planning control “are not excessive” and he heard arguments from both sides about time scales to implement the enforcement. The council wanted the work done in nine months- the couple pushed for 18 months and the inspector settled on a year.