Unpermitted Ayrshire home to be demolished after failed appeal
A man has been ordered to demolish a five-bedroom home that was built without planning permission after failing to convince planners that refusing his application breached his human rights.
Gareth Wilson completed the property at Tennox Farm estate near Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, in December 2021.
He failed to submit formal planning permission to North Ayrshire Council before starting work on the house so planning officers ordered him to complete paperwork for the house in March last year.
A few months later local authority refused to grant retrospective planning permission, arguing that the building had a “negative impact” on the area and was not in keeping with the “established character” of the countryside.
Planners ruled the building would have to be knocked down and returned to its former state.
Mr Wilson appealed the decision to the Scottish Government, claiming the council enforcement was invalid due to a lack of specification and that it was “excessive”. He had also said the decision was against his human rights.
Documents submitted on his behalf said: “Upholding the notice without extending the compliance period would be contrary to the human rights of the appellant, his partner and family members.
“As the new house is the home of the appellant and his partner and the part-time home of the other family members, the reporter should consider, when determining the appeal, the implications of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998.
“This is particularly important as the council did not consider the human rights of the appellant and his family when resolving to issue the notice.
“It is submitted that it would be disproportionate and therefore unlawful to uphold the notice without (at least) extending the compliance period.”
However, The Times reports that government officials have now upheld the council’s decision.
In a written ruling, the government reporter, Fortune Gumbo, said: “I do not consider that there is a genuine housing need issue in play in this appeal as the appellant has other dwellings within the farm. In the alternative, should alternative accommodation be sought outside the farm, the appellant, by his admission, is of considerable means and as such this would not be an insurmountable obstacle.
“My findings are that the enforcement action proposed does not infringe on the appellant’s (and family) human rights, however, should an argument be made that there is an infringement, that infringement is on balance outweighed by the public interest objectives.
“I have considered all of the other matters raised, but there are none which would lead me to alter my conclusion that the enforcement notice should be upheld.”