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We were furious after our neighbours built an eyesore gym in the middle of their driveway… now we've finally got our way | The Sun
RESIDENTS are celebrating after a neighbour who built an "eyesore" gym in the middle of his driveway has been forced to tear it down.
Locals of Highgate, Birmingham were overjoyed and "amazed" that the local council had ordered Madam Singh to demolish the unauthorised building.
Mr Singh had originally been granted planning permission for a single-storey garage in 2019.
However, planning officials were stunned to discover in October 2021 that a small two-storey "house" had been put up instead.
The family have previously said that they were using the structure as a gym and that there were only "minor differences" with what was approved by the council.
Family members told The Sun Online: "We use it as a gym, we go in there every day. We all go in there – there are about four or five families around here. We all use the gym.
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"We’re not ashamed of it. We’ve got nothing to prove to anyone. We’re not on benefits, we spent our hard-earned money to build what we’ve built."
They also slammed their complainants and the council as "jobsworths" and accused locals of using the gym themselves.
Recent photographs, though, show that the demolition work has begun.
One neighbour said: "It looks like they have finally complied with the order and thank goodness because it was an eyesore.
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"I was amazed they got away with it, so it's nice to see that common sense has now prevailed.
"They will be kicking themselves though, it must have cost them a few bob to throw that up in the first place and now having to pay to pull it mostly down."
They added that it's "hard to have too much sympathy" with the family as they are "clearly in the wrong".
Another local added: "You're never happy to see extensions or new-builds going up blocking out sunlight or replacing gardens and trees but it's just what people do.
"But if it was only given permission to be a garage I cannot see how they thought they would ever get away with it. It's clearly a house.
"How on earth they were planning to pass that off as garage, God only knows."
Mr Singh was given until July 2022 to completely remove the structure and all demolition waste from his property.
However, the council confirmed that the deadline had been missed.
Planning Inspector Thomas Shields, in his report on the case, wrote: "Since the appeal building bears little resemblance to the scale and design of the approved single-storey garage, it does not benefit from that planning permission."
A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council said: "The council is actively pursuing compliance with the enforcement notice.
"It is a live case so there's nothing more we can say at this stage."
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They had previously said: "We served an enforcement notice for the demolition of the unauthorised structure when the owner lost at appeal.
"We are in discussions with the owner over a timeline. Compliance with the notice was due by July 1, 2022."
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