Five £1m luxury mansions to be torn down as they’re one third bigger than plans

Five £1million luxury mansions are to be torn down after being built up to a third bigger than planned.

The six-bed detached properties have been subject to a bitter, five-year-long planning row.

A planning inquiry heard they were also in different locations on a stunning plot in the West Pennine moors than they were allowed.

Bolton Council issued an enforcement notice for demolition in 2018 and a planning inspector has now given the householders 12 months to demolish the structures and return the site to its previous state.

That period has been extended from a six-months due to the "hardship" the decision will impose on the appellants, whose buildings are at Grundy Fold Farm.

At a previous hearing homeowner Elan Raja said he paid £1,057,000 for the plot in 2016 and claimed he has had since spent more than £215,000 on the rental of an alternative property and other costs.

He said he had suffered from severe stress and anxiety coping with the immense demands of the matter and had suffered cardiac problems as a result of the "nightmare".

The development began in 2014 when planning permission was granted for the conversion of a former farmhouse and four new homes around a central courtyard.

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The stone-built exclusive homes were erected on a sprawling plot near Bolton, Greater Mancs.

But finishing works were put on hold after a complaint was filed in October 2016, and Bolton Council found the houses were not being built in accordance with the planning permission.

The inquiry heard how plot one on the site had a 31% bigger footprint than allowed, plot two was 19% bigger, plot three 32% bigger and plot four 33% bigger.

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The local authority first issued an enforcement notice to flatten the entire development in 2018 following an impasse with the developers, Sparkle Developments.

The appeal claims the enforcement notice issued by the council to demolish the homes was excessive and too harsh to remedy any breach in planning regulations.

The owners now face the prospect of a 'fall back position', which is to demolish the existing buildings and rebuild in the correct areas to the correct size.

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That planning permission, which is still in place, is for just four dwellings and conversion of the former farmhouse, which was demolished and stands partially rebuilt.

A four-day planning inquiry in March heard from plot holders and their lawyer as well as from Bolton Council.

Developers Sparkle demolished the farmhouse and began building afresh and partially constructed four new homes in the wrong locations and with different dimensions than agreed, it was heard.

The inquiry considered two appeals from the house owners, one against the demolition enforcement and another to try and overturn a decision on a subsequent amended planning application.

Both appeals were been dismissed on Wednesday.

At the inquiry Bolton Council argued harm had been caused to the green belt.

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