Council says hidden residence must be gutted
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/15/2012 -- A property developer has been given an order to tear down a house that was built under the guise of a garage.
Carol Jones designed a plush two-story home to look just like a garage workshop in her backyard.
Carol and her husband had the 30-foot high building created in 2006 to line in while they built their larger home yards away.
The couple only had permits to build a garage and workshop on their land, but decided a two-bedroom house suited their needs more comfortably. The couple fixed a fake garage door to the front of the house in order to keep authorities none the wiser.
The case is much like a couple who created a house that looked like a barn. That couple lost a half-decade battle to keep that construction intact.
Property developer Alan Beesley and his wife had been given permits to build a barn for agricultural use, but the barn was fitted with a two-story home. Their attempt to outwit council planners was complete with farm equipment that was displayed in the front of the house.
Robert Fidler constructed a castle behind a forty-foot hay bale stack covered with tarpaulin. After authorities found out about the castle, they ordered it to be torn down.
The Jones’ occupied the garage for two years before they moved into their new house next door. They rented out the garage to two tenants until the neighbors tipped authorities of the extra residence.
The couple even had a party celebrating the move into the property before renting the property in 2008 to gain a secondary income.
Mrs. Jones was a director of a defunct property development firm, Richmond and Virgo Ltd. She applied for retrospective planning permission to build a house last year in and attempt to keep the ‘garage’ intact. Malvern Hills District Council rejected the plan and ruled against an appeal from Mrs. Jones.
A Government Planning Inspectorate also ruled that she would have six months to gut or tear down the building. The inspectorate stated that Mrs. Jones had 'behaved unreasonably from the out
She said: 'The appellant deliberately set out to deceive the council. To my mind, the appellant has behaved unreasonably from the outset, and the retrospective case that she has put forward has evolved to suit her circumstances.
“After the dwelling came to the attention of the council, the appellant has tried, without success, to find a loophole in the planning system that would enable her to retain the dwelling.
“First, she fraudulently tried to argue that the building had initially been built as a garage and then subsequently converted to a dwelling. When that approach was unsuccessful, instead, in the current appeal, she has admitted the building had been erected as a dwelling but she has tried to argue that due to the passage of time, it was too late for the council to take enforcement action.”
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