Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury garage built without planning permission ordered to be demolished

A vehicle repair garage near Shrewsbury which was erected without planning permission is set to be demolished – after an appeal to the planning inspectorate was thrown out.

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Shropshire Council planning officers have rejected an appeal

Edgebold Garage proprietor Phillip Roberts had lodged four separate appeals with Shropshire Council, alleging the authority had failed to properly evaluate evidence before it issued an enforcement notice in 2021.

However, national planning inspectors upheld the authority’s decision that Mr Roberts had replaced a fire-damaged garage for his vehicle repair business at his domestic property without planning permission, and he will now have to pull down the workshop building within three months.

An inquiry held in June heard how Mr Roberts had worked from a shed near the house at Brickfield Cottage prior to a successful application for a change of use at part of the site in 2014, which involved converting a domestic garage for use as a base for the business, which was then extended as a “triple garage” in 2017.

An email from the council enforcement officer sent to Mr Roberts in 2017 appeared to advise him that the extension to the original garage building was permitted development, provided the main use of the property remained as residential.

However in 2020, following a fire which destroyed several vehicles at the property, a council investigation discovered that Mr Roberts “was in the course of constructing a large garage building with three bays” as a replacement for the fire-damaged garage building, leading to the issuing of the original enforcement notice.

Mr Roberts then applied for a certificate of lawful use on the grounds the business had been operating for more than 10 years, which was thrown out by council planners, a decision which was also upheld by the Planning Inspectorate.

In his report, Planning Inspector Grahame Kean said the new structure required specific planning permission, which had not been granted.

“I agree with the Council that the new garage significantly harms the character and appearance of and is significantly out of keeping with the main house and the surrounding residential plots,” he said.

“After the fire the appellant replaced what was there before with a new and different structure. For a use to be lawfully capable of being continued, I would agree with the appellant that a permission could be expressly sought for the rebuilding of a structure, but no such permission was granted.”

A statement from Shropshire Council said the outcome of the appeal demonstrated that officers will pursue cases where there has been a “significant breach of planning control”.

Chris Schofield, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for planning, said: “This is a good example where this council will not tolerate unauthorised development that impacts adversely on residents and appropriate action will be taken. We therefore strongly advise people in Shropshire to go down the right route to seek planning permission first”.

Following the ruling, Mr Roberts was required to cease trading from the site within 21 days and has three months in which to arrange for the building to be dismantled.

A separate application for costs was also refused.