Development News Part 2 – They do things differently in Bolton

Five £1m luxury mansions to be demolished after long-running planning dispute

Ellen Manning 

Five million pound mansions will have to be demolished after a lengthy planning wrangle. (SWNS)

Five luxury mansions worth over £1m each have been ordered to be demolished following a long-running planning row about their size and location.

The six-bedroomed properties built in the West Pennine moors, Great Manchester were found to have been built up to a third bigger and in different locations than they were given permission for, a planning inquiry heard.

Owners had appealed against an order to demolish the houses but their claims were rejected and a planning inspector has now given them 12 months to demolish the structures and return the site to its previous state.

Four of the properties have been built up to a third bigger than planning permission allowed. (SWNS)

Building work on the development started in 2014 when planning permission was granted for the conversion of a former farmhouse and four new homes around a central courtyard near Bolton, Greater Manchester.

Work was put on hold after a complaint was filed in October 2016 and Bolton Council found the houses were not being built in line with planning permission.

The inquiry heard that found of the plots were up to a third bigger than were allowed and some were also in different places than the permission allowed.

The local authority first issued an enforcement notice to developers Sparkle Developments to tear down the houses in 2018.

Developers had appealed against the order to demolish the properties. (SWNS)

They appealed, saying the order to demolish the homes was excessive and too harsh to remedy any breach in planning regulations.

But their appeals were dismissed this week, with planning bosses ordering that the houses be demolished.

The owners now have 12 months to demolish the properties – extended from six months due to the “hardship” that the decision will bring to them.

At the inquiry, Bolton Council argued that the location of the houses represented a “significant departure away from the clear design intentions of the 2014 scheme” and that harm had been caused to green belt land.

The council’s barrister Ian Ponter said: “The appeal schemes generate a very substantial loss of openness.

“The character of the area is scattered farms, individual rural houses and groups of houses clustered into small villages located below the uplands.

“The original plans were expressly designed to be compatible with that settlement pattern.

“They were sensitively sited in a hamlet form of development.”