A granny is forced by the local council to demolish her £50,000 extension.
Linda Webb, 66, is refusing to demolish the single-storey rear extension of her Wraysbury home in an ongoing dispute with Windsor and Maidenhead Council.
The stress of the ordeal, which began over two years ago, is causing Linda sleepless nights and even worsening her arthritis.
The council ordered it to reverse construction by January 2022 because it was built on greenbelt land without planning permission.
In 2019, she spent her inheritance to extend her living room onto her patio, creating an open space with sliding doors and skylights for her growing family to spend time together.
The grandmother-of-two was “convinced” by the builders, who told her she definitely didn’t need planning permission.
However, a nosy neighbor snapped photos of the contractors going in and out of Linda’s driveway and reported their extension to the local council.
Since then, Linda’s applications for planning permission have been denied and all of her appeals have been dismissed.
She said: “It’s just so far that I don’t sleep. I wake up at night and then everything goes through my head and then I wake up tired again the next day. This has been going on for two years.”
“I honestly think it’s aged me because I’m not feeling so well, and I think a lot of that is because I’ve been living in tension all this time.
“I get jaw and back pains – it’s mostly because I keep myself tense all the time, the muscles are locking up.
“Before, I used to run for miles and miles, now I can’t do that anymore. It seems that through all of this I haven’t been able to do the things I wanted to do.”
I just can’t understand why this is so bad. It’s not like I built another house on my land.
Linda’s extension cost around £50,000 but she may have to spend even more to tear it down.
She said: “My mother died a few years ago and she left me some money. I thought it would be a good way to use it in the process.
“The big thing is that I’ve taken some of my pension out – I might have to use it to demolish what I’ve built.”
The extension has brought Linda’s family together and is also a place where she can feel part of nature.
She said: “I just can’t understand why this is so bad. It’s not like I built another house on my land.
“The garden was really my full relaxation. Now that I can’t do that much we thought it would be a good idea to get me out in the garden.
“Even though I can’t do much in the summer, I can open those doors and feel in the garden protected from the sun if necessary, but I can potter in and out without having to do much.
She added: “My life has always been connected to my family more than anything else — first, second and last really.
“My father comes up, the kids come up. They all love being here because they love the garden and it’s such a happy place and a place for family.
“They even got me into making board games, which I hate, but we do them here as a family and it’s pretty fun.”
Linda believes she is being penalized for applying for a building permit after she started construction, as most of the neighboring properties also have annexes and other outbuildings.
In her second motion, Linda even suggested reducing her total floor space by demolishing her garage to keep her beloved extension—but that motion was denied, too.
She said: “They seem kind of cheerful — which sounds awful — but it seems like, ‘Haha, we won, you gotta break it down.’
I have the feeling that the local council is pushing very hard to set an example.
“I don’t really understand why, but I feel like there’s a very strong push from the council to set an example.
“What I don’t understand in this report is that the council said, ‘yes, we try to work with people when they plan,’ but there was no communication, no one tried to work with us. I’ve contacted a couple of councilors who I hope will try to help you.”
Linda was on the verge of tears when asked what she was going to do.
She said: “I don’t know. I’m so worried.”
THE RAT CRACKS DOWN
A council spokesman said: “Planning applications can only be decided in line with planning policy, together with taking into account feedback from stakeholders, including local residents.
“The responsibility lies with the owners and developers to follow planning guidelines and controls, consult council early if necessary and ensure they have any relevant consents or permits before beginning work.
“The Council issues enforcement orders when it considers that there has been a breach of planning control and it is appropriate to take formal action.
“In deciding to issue such notices, the Council shall at all times be guided by, and act in accordance with, planning laws and national and local planning guidelines.
“In this case, even on appeal, the enforcement order was confirmed by an inspector who agreed with the Council’s case.
“When investigating a suspected violation of planning control, our planning enforcement team always attempts to contact, engage with, and cooperate with the owner or user of the offending site so that steps can be taken to remedy such violations.”
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18265729/i-spent-50000-on-extension-council-demolish/ I’ve spent £50,000 on an extension but the council is forcing me to tear it down… I can’t sleep on it