Walsall house demolition is warning to those who ‘think they can build what they want’

Work to demolish the eyesore building had begun
Work to demolish the eyesore building had begun

That’s the message from the leader of Walsall Council after the owner started tearing down the unauthorised home which had caused a five-year nightmare for neighbours.

Residents of Walstead Road, Walsall, said that after plans for a small extension were approved, the work just kept going and the builder got bigger and bigger until it no longer reflected what had been agreed on the planning approval.

For the past two years, the front of the house has been an eyesore, with debris and materials scattered across the front of the property.

Workers contracted by the owners are now tearing down the building after Walsall Council promised to intervene if it was not removed.

Neighbour Mandy Yates, 52, had damage caused to her house in the process of the original work.

She said: “When they first starting the building work they didn’t have permission to extend it.

“Walsall Council got involved with it and they got the building regulation approval to build it, which was fair enough. The plans they submitted were fine and everybody was happy with them.

“Then when they started the building work, it just got bigger and bigger and didn’t reflect what had been agreed on the planning approval.

“They have had a number of different builders come in and leave, they stopped work on it while they were waiting for approval to come through. Then they started working again over weekends because the builder could only work on the weekends.”

“They have walked on and damaged our roof, resulting in a leak and damp upstairs in our rooms. We have had roofers come out and look at it to get it repaired and the one said he could see where they’ve been walking.

“You can see the mess, it has been like this for five years.

“Now the question is what will happen with that plot of land. The demolition work for this was initially for 2019.”

The house has caused a headache for residents for five years
The house has caused a headache for residents for five years

The council had informed the owner if the structure was not taken down then the council would step in.

Walsall Council leader, Councillor Mike Bird, said: “The planning committee made a decision to take direct action as this is one of many who think they can flout planning permissions and build what they want.

“This is the first time since I have been a councillor that we have intervened in this way.

“This sends a strong message to anyone who wants to flout planning permission.

“It will be the first of many where we take direct action against people who build something outside the permission they have.

“Anyone who doesn’t build within the permission they have will feel full force of planning enforcement including the support of the courts if needed.

What will happen to the plot of land is still undecided as work to demolish the building continues.

Express & Star Walsall