Woman loses battle to keep �100,000 bungalow and knocks it down herself before council did it for her

NOW you see it, now you don’t as a �100,000 bungalow built without planning permission was knocked down by its owner before a council enforcement squad arrived.

After her losing the final battle to keep her home, Isha Manning called on family and friends to demolish the three bedroom bungalow to stop Fenland District Council from removing it. The council had warned her that the costs could be as high as �25,000 if they did the work.

Councillor Jan French, Fenland Council’s portfolio holder responsible for planning enforcement, said: “We’re glad the owner has finally agreed to comply with the law and demolish the building, with the result that no council funds have had to be used.

“We did all we could over a long period to give her every chance to remedy this breach and enable her to keep the property. But in the end we had no alternative but to require its removal.

“We would have gone ahead with that this week if she had not finally complied.”

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Cllr French added: “We do always try to help people through the whole planning process. But this case should serve as a very clear warning that we will take firm action against those who refuse to comply with the planning laws.”

The bungalow, named Willow Place, was spotted on land next to the Seadyke Bank Travellers site on the edge of Murrow near Wisbech, Cambs, in 2007.

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“It had been put up without any planning permission or even an application,” said a council official.

“Lengthy discussions ensued between Fenland Council officers and the owner to try to persuade him to submit an application. When she failed to do so, the council issued an enforcement notice in November 2010.”

The official added: “Mrs Manning appealed against the notice to the Planning Inspectorate. But when the appeal was heard in September 2011 neither she nor her planning consultant turned up to give evidence.”

The enforcement notice was upheld and Mrs Manning told that the building had to come down by December 24, 2011.

The council official added: “Mrs Manning requested extra time as it was nearly Christmas and an extension was granted giving her until January 31 to organise the demolition.

“She was told that if he failed to do this, the council would arrange it and he would be charged the costs, which were likely to be between �20,000 and �25,000.”

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