26ft caravan 'extension' must come down

caravan extension

An unusual house extension has fallen foul of planners in Deal, Kent. Audrey Sells had wanted to move closer to her daughter in the town, so hit on the solution of buying a mobile home, and covering her daughter's entire garden with it.

Neighbours and planners were not impressed.

The extension

The Telegraph reported that 69-year-old Audrey wanted to move closer to her daughter Tina, who helps to care for her. Instead of moving in, she bought a 26 foot, £4,000 static caravan, and moved it next to her daughter's house - adding plumbing and electrics.

She didn't have planning permission, and a number of neighbours complained. The Sun reported that one felt that the caravan made their street look like a travellers' site.

The Daily Mail reported that at a planning meeting last week, the council ruled it was 'dominant and incongruous' and she would have to take it down. Tina, 48, told The Sun: "My mum is going to have to sell it and we will have her stay with us. I didn't realise it was going to cause so much upset, otherwise I wouldn't have done it.

Unusual planning rows

It was certainly an optimistic project, and it's not a huge shock that the planning department weren't keen. It seems, however, that the Sell family are not alone in underestimating the strength of feeling over their building plans.

Yesterday we reported the sad tale of 100 pensioners in East Yorkshire who risked being made homeless, after they discovered the retirement properties they had bought were only given planning permission as holiday homes, so they could not live there all year. The pensioners argued that they weren't doing any harm, but the council was worried that letting them stay would set a precedent.

In April we reported the case of Anne Kennedy, forced to repaint her cottage a lighter shade of pink, after one neighbour complained that her re-paint job had rendered her 17th century cottage too dark for his taste

Back in February it was the turn of farmer Robert Fidler who was told he had to knock his home down. The property had been built on farmland and without permission in 2001, and he had hidden it behind a haystack until 2006. He hoped to use a law which lets you keep a property if no-one complains about it for four years. However, the council decided Fidler hadn't been entirely straight with them, and demanded it be demolished.

Celebrities aren't immune either. When Stella McCartney installed a shower on the roof of her Notting Hill townhouse in 2002, neighbours contacted the council to complain. The council said she didn't have planning permission for anything so elaborate, and after an appeal to the Government Planning Inspectorate she was forced to take it down - a year after installing it.
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