Man ordered to tear down his six-bedroom home despite no neighbours complaining
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A homeowner is set to lose his brand-new house after being ordered to demolish it by his local council, despite neighbours displaying support for the construction.
Graham Ralph, who lives in Flixton, Greater Manchester, has been told that his newly built home must be demolished for being “visually intrusive” in his neighbourhood.
Ralph applied for planning permission on a house back in 2015, which was approved by the local council for four bedrooms and two storeys.
However, since starting work on his property he’s been informed by the local council that his previous planning permission has expired.
The council also took issue with the fact that his original application for permission outlined different plans for the house's structure than the one he actually ended up building.
Now, the council says that Ralph cannot continue construction of his six-bedroom house, and instead must have it knocked down because it doesn’t comply with local building regulations.
And yet, despite the building having been described as “incongruous” by officials, Ralph's neighbours are siding against the council.
Alex Taylor, a 43-year-old recruitment manager, suggested the council’s decision derives from a dislike of modern homes.
He told The Sun: “It’s ridiculous – we’ve Victorian, Georgian and Edwardian houses, as well as post-war properties like ours.”
He then asked: “Can we not have modern homes?”
And Taylor isn’t the only neighbour who’s irritated by the council’s instruction, either. In fact, the majority of Ralph's neighbours have argued that the unfinished house is more of an eyesore to the neighbourhood than the finished house would be.
Gavin Hartley, a 40-year-old delivery driver and neighbour, said: “It’s a fiasco that it’s been stopped. It should be finished off.”
“I drive past here all the time and it’s completely in keeping.”
"People should be allowed to improve their own residential areas with nice properties – it’s not the green belt."
But despite the unwavering support Ralph's neighbours seem to display for his housing project, the council appears to be unwavering in its decision to see it gone.
A report on Ralph’s home-in-progress states: “In its current form, it would not comply with the building regulations in respect of fire safety and accessibility."
And in its conclusion, it adds that it "appears as a visually intrusive and incongruous element in the street scene, harmful to the character and appearance of the area".
The news comes as a big blow to the homeowner. According to Flixton ward councillor Simon Thomas, Ralph was hoping to move into the house with his son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
But unless something drastic changes, it seems like, sadly, that future is becoming more distant by the second.