Action agreed over illegal St Allbans house extension

PUBLISHED: 17:43 31 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:03 06 May 2010

The house is three metres higher and three metres wider than permitted in the original application

The house is three metres higher and three metres wider than permitted in the original application

ANGRY neighbours turned out in force last week to see the owner of an extended house in St Albans have his planning application turned down again. They claim that Andrew Ferdinand, who owns the house in Vesta Avenue, has repeatedly flouted planning law to

ANGRY neighbours turned out in force last week to see the owner of an extended house in St Albans have his planning application turned down again.

They claim that Andrew Ferdinand, who owns the house in Vesta Avenue, has repeatedly flouted planning law to build a massive structure in a street of modest semis.

Enforcement action against him had already been agreed and St Albans District Council's plans (south) committee were meeting to consider his latest bid to prevent proceedings.

They were asked to approve a plan which allowed Mr Ferdinand to keep the property as a five-bedroom home with a lower roof more in keeping with its surroundings.

But speaking after the meeting, the council's planning portfolio holder Cllr Chris Brazier said: "This man should be made to take the house back to the original proportions he was given permission to build.

"The house is three metres higher and three metres wider than permitted in the 2002 application.

"Our enforcement officers will now be re-activating proceedings against him."

When planning permission was originally granted in 2002 it was for a single-storey front, two-storey side and rear and a single-storey rear extension to the property.

But in 2005, Mr Ferdinand, of Edward Close, applied for permission to convert the building into four flats which was rejected by planners.

His agent David Lane then appealed against the decision, only to have the planning inspector uphold the council's decision.

But neighbours were furious when building work continued and the property kept getting bigger and bigger. One neighbour at the time said: "We are appalled that this man thinks he is above the law. He has no planning permission for this monstrous building which towers above everything round it."

A retrospective planning application was then submitted which was turned down by a district council planning committee in July 2007 and an enforcement notice was subsequently issued three months later requiring Mr Ferdinand to demolish large sections of the house.

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