Chatteris home owner faces possible enforcement after failing to convince Fenland Council when two extensions were built
18:59 13 February 2017
A Chatteris householder unable to prove two extensions were built more than four years ago faces possible enforcement action by Fenland District Council.
Darrin Coe thought applying for a certificate of lawful use for the extensions to his Tithe Road home would be enough to keep him within the planning laws.
But Fenland Council concluded that on the basis of the evidence they remain “unconvinced that the extensions have been in existence for more than four years. As such the development is not considered to be lawful”.
The house was built in the 1950s as part of a 126 home estate and the extension added in recent years – quite when being the subject for debate.
Council development officer Nikki Carter has advised Mr Coe to either make an application for retrospective permission or prove when the extension was added.
The council looked at a handwritten note from MC Builders of Dock Road, Chatteris, who confirmed the extensions “have been constructed over four years ago”.
However the council said the letter was not a legal document “and as such little weight can be placed on this as evidence”.
The council also said the photographs do not offer any evidence when they were taken and no one could assist at the town council and neighbours couldn’t help either.
The council also said they had researched aerial photographs, building regulations and even Google Street View but none could prove conclusively the extensions were built more than four years ago.
Fenland officials said that “without sufficient factual or precise information, as in this case, the local planning authority is justified in refusing a certificate”.
Mr Coe told planners: “We had two extensions and was told we did not need planning permission at the time. We have now sold the house and have been advised to apply for retrospective consent”.
In his application to the council he said the people who told him no permission was needed gave “the wrong advice and we would like to correct the mistake”.