£2m mansion to be demolished - as it's three times too big


The finished mansion

Syed Raza Shah, a beauty salon owner from Barton-le-Clay in Bedfordshire, has been ordered to knock down his £2 million mansion. He bought a five-bedroom bungalow in 2008, and after getting permission to extend it in 2011, he has now completed the seven-bedroom mansion.

The council, however, say it's bigger than it was meant to be, and have ordered it be demolished.

Too big

The council has said that planning permission was granted to increase the floor space of Shah's 1960s bungalow by 45%. However, the final building was three times the size of the original building. He has added two extra stories and a turret.

The Daily Mail reported that Shah had spent his life savings of £100,000 transforming the £750,000 bungalow into a mansion which is estimated to be worth around £2 million. He denies that he has increased the size of the property by 200%, and says he only did it to improve the appearance of the building.

Shah told the Mirror that the increase in size was due to 'minor adjustments'. He applied to the council for retrospective planning permission for it, but the council refused. With a property on green belt land in an area of outstanding natural beauty - and 11 formal objections from the neighbours - it was always going to be difficult to get permission to keep the property. He says he will appeal against the decision.

Councillor Nigel Young told the BBC: "Councils must follow planning law and planning regulation and this is well outside planning regulation, so we are obliged, as we are with all cases of unlawful development, to act on behalf of all our residents and issue enforcement notices."

Falling foul of the rules is always going to be a dangerous business. However, bringing in the bulldozers must be heartbreaking.


Shah is not the only one to have faced this prospect for his labour of love.

We reported in June about the woman in Deal in Kent, who had bought a mobile home, and covered her entire garden with it, in order to move her elderly mother into the property to care for her. The static caravan was not the most attractive addition to a property (the council called it dominant and incongruous), but it had cost the family £4,000. The council ordered them to remove it.

In February farmer Robert Fidler was ordered to demolish his home. He had built a home - in the style of a castle - in 2001 and kept it hidden behind a haystack until 2006. He had hoped to take advantage of a loophole that states that if a building has been around for four years without a complaint it cannot have planning rules enforced against it. The Council disagreed, refused to grant retrospective permission, fought the farmer for six years, and finally insisted he knock it down.

Meanwhile, some famous faces have been given permission to bring the bulldozers in to transform their homes.

We reported that Nick Ross has been given permission to knock down a major chunk of his Grade II Listed property near Hyde Park to make way for a modern mansion. Meanwhile Jeremy Clarkson has been allowed to knock down a five-bedroom home he owns in the Cotswolds and build an even bigger house, with a swimming pool and tennis court. It has been reported that his new home will be called Diddly Squat farm.

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