'Unashamed' homeowners who built a 'house' on their driveway insist it is there to stay

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A Birmingham family have insisted they have no plans to pull down their house, despite being ordered to do so by the city council. Madam Pal Singh was given the go-ahead to build a single-storey garage at his semi in Highgate in 2019. However, Birmingham city’s council were notified by concerned residents, when a much bigger property was built.

Officials gave the family until July to demolish the building after they lost an appeal.

The family said the property was turned into a gym during Covid – complete with punch bags and machines.

They insist that they have no current plans to pull down the building.

A woman at the property told The Sun: “We have not been told to demolish the property.

“We use it as a gym, we go in there every day.

“We all go in there – there are about four or five families around here.

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Thomas Shields wrote in his report: “It is substantially larger than the approved building. It is not a minor difference.

“In comparison with the approved garage, the appeal building has a footprint of approximately 8.7m x 4.7m and a height of 5.3m.

Instead of a garage door, there is a pedestrian door into the front room and a tripartite bow window.

“Two more windows in the rear elevation serve a separate, smaller room.

“Instead of single-storey, the appeal building is 1.5 storey and has two rooms in the roof, facilitated by an almost full-width box dormer.

“All of these differences, between what was approved, and what has been built, are not minor.

“Since the appeal building bears little resemblance to the scale and design of the approved single-storey garage, it does not benefit from that planning permission.

“The requirements of the notice are: demolish the entire unauthorised detached structure and remove all demolished building materials and rubble from the premises.”

A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council said: “We served an EN (enforcement notice) for the demolition of the unauthorised structure when the owner lost at appeal.

“We are in discussions with the owner re timeline. Compliance with the notice was due by July 1, 2022.”



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