Council orders demolition of 11 new builds
An entire new build property development in Gloucestershire is to be demolished following a row over how many homes should have been built.
Forest of Dean District Council has ruled that 11 new properties built by Crystalight builders must go because two more had been constructed than had been originally agreed upon.
The council’s planning committee ruled that, “It is considered that the development in its current form is out of keeping and causes detrimental harm to the character of the area and the Newent Conservation Area.”
They claim that instead of the original nine houses which planning approved for the site in Newent, 11 have been built by property management and development company Crystalight, resulting in them encroaching onto adjacent land.
Builder blunder blamed
Crystalight say that the additional two properties were built because of a ‘blunder’ by the builders, who are no longer on site, and who allegedly began mistakenly building the two extra properties ‘prematurely’. They say the additional two houses are already being demolished, and that they are willing to negotiate how the other problems can be addressed.
However, at the recent planning meeting it was deemed that despite only two extra houses being built, there was now no planning permission for the entire site and that the whole development was considered unauthorised. Consequently, the council felt there was no alternative but to order demolition of the development and then take matters from there.
Council officers were asked by local councillors why the properties passed building control despite the work apparently failing to comply with the planning permission. The Planning Committee Chairman highlighted that because planning and building control are separate functions, often building work is approved by independent inspectors rather than council officers.
Crystalight has nine months to demolish the development, and this case highlights how problems can occur despite the push to provide much-needed new homes throughout the UK.