Neighbours fume as homeowner could possibly keep ‘eyesore’ extension

Neighbours have expressed their frustration after learning a homeowner could be allowed to keep an “unauthorised” extension to his house – after agreeing to make changes.

Mohammed Shorab originally secured planning permission in 2020 for a two-storey side extension and a single-storey rear extension at his home in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. However, the scheme that was built at the property included several features that did not have planning permission, including a porch and canopy with five fluted Grecian-style columns, a mono-pitch roof on the side extension and windows in different positions.

Planning committee members at Stoke-on-Trent City Council authorised enforcement action last April, which could have resulted in the entire development being demolished.

However, following months of negotiations with planning officers, Mr Shorab has now agreed with make several changes to the extensions in order to make them acceptable. A partly retrospective planning application has now been recommended for approval by the planning committee, which will make a decision on the case, reports Stoke-on-Trent Live.

The main bulk and height of the extensions would be retained, but with changes to the roof over the single-storey extension, to introduce a hipped design at the front. All the columns would be removed, and the canopy reduced in size. The canopy would be supported on traditional gallows brackets.

And the windows on the extension would be altered “to introduce more balance and symmetry”.

The report to the planning committee states: “The alternative scheme proposed within this application is considered, on balance, to be acceptable in terms of its impact on visual and residential amenity and on highway safety such that it accords with both national and local planning policy. The application is therefore recommended for approval subject to conditions.”

But Mr Shorab’s neighbours are still unhappy with the revised scheme, with 15 letters of objection submitted to the council.

The objectors say the property “is not in keeping” with the cul-de-sac, describing it as a “complete eyesore”.

They also claim that the size of the extension has caused ‘overcrowding’ on the site, and that since it was built there have been three or four cars parked outside, causing difficulty for cars exiting the drives opposite.

Other issues raised by the objectors include the loss of privacy and light, water run-off, and the impact the ordeal has had on the mental health of elderly residents.

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