A FAMILY have been left outraged after being ordered to demolish their extension while, they claim, the neighbourhood is already ruined.
Chris and Kelly Robinson, both 39, and their son David were stunned to discover that they needed planning permission for the outbuilding in the back garden of their home in Bolton, Greater Manchester.
Chris, who runs his own roofing and metalworking business, told The Sun Online: "We had no idea we needed planning permission as we thought we were within the permitted development – not taking up 50% of garden space.
"We actually built on the space the old shed was on – we think it's just so wrong. If we were being punished for not seeking planning permission in the first place I could understand that.
"But asking us to take it down is not reasonable at all."
He added that the family are appealing the decision, which they feel is "completely wrong".
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However, they were even more shocked by the fact that a derelict "eyesore" shed with an alleged asbestos roof, which sits right across the road, has been allowed to stand.
Kelly explained: "We do have to look at that…with an asbestos roof.
"Surely they should take it away safely and replace it with something usable like what we have? The whole situation seems so wrong."
And they have received plenty of support from their neighbours.
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Christine Hall, 64, said: "The family over the road have done nothing wrong. They are a hardworking family and have kept us in touch all the way along during this process.
"People need to get a life – nobody round here would complain as it looks good.
"It doesn't affect the day-to-day running of my life in any way. I have four grandchildren and they play in my garden, where [the housing association] are happy to leave me with a shed with an asbestos roof."
Meanwhile, Brenda Chan, 38, added: "It is pathetic – it is on their property and you cannot really see it as there is a hedge around it."
On the allegedly asbestos-lined building, one resident fumed: "That's just a complete mess – yet the council do nothing about it.
"Then when a hardworking family construct something that actually enhances the area and makes the place look a bit posher they want it ripped down."
As well as their appeal, the family submitted an application for retrospective planning permission.
It has been supported by Craig Ronson of Ronson Building Design Ltd.
Mr Ronson wrote: "The building is constructed in Zinc, which is a high-quality architectural material, typically seen in well-designed Urban projects.
"This type of material would not usually be seen in areas of affordable housing, due to high material and skilled labour costs."
He added that the structure had "no impact" on the surrounding area and was supported by the three nearest neighbours.
However, in March, the council rejected the proposal.
The planning officers explained: "The outbuilding protrudes beyond the clear and consistent building line of both Hawthorne Avenue and North Avenue, betraying a lack of consideration for the streetscape character, particularly for a visually prominent corner plot.
"Cumulatively, the siting, footprint and height of the outbuilding ensure it is highly conspicuous in the locality. It represents a stark departure from the development pattern and development character."
They also said it breached council policy and had a "negative street outcome."
A spokesperson for Bolton Council said: "All planning applications are determined in line with policies in the Development Plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
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"The applicant has appealed the council’s decision and we await the outcome of the appeal process."
Bolton At Homes Housing Association declined to comment
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