Wealthy landowner must demolish his £500,000 illegally-built home hidden behind hedges in field… after he was caught when the glass roof ‘lit up like a Christmas tree’ at night and neighbours complained it looked ‘like an alien invasion from Mars’

  • Tony Harvey did not get hold of planning permission when he constructed the property  



A rich landowner has been ordered to demolish his illegally constructed £500,000 dwelling hidden by hedges in a subject after it ‘lit up like a Christmas tree’ at night time.

Tony Harvey did not get hold of planning permission when he self-built the modern household dwelling close to Glastonbury, Somerset.

The controversial property sits on agricultural land above the agricultural hamlet of West Compton. It’s a single storey barn-style property that Mr Harvey believes is consistent with the countryside location.

However its sudden look sparked complaints from villagers who mentioned its giant glazed home windows ‘lit up like a Christmas tree’ at night time when the lights have been turned on.

One neighbour complained of sunshine air pollution coming from the property, including: ‘When he places the lights on it’s lit up and appears like an alien invasion from Mars.’

It was additionally claimed the constructing has redirected the water run-off from the sector onto the highway – making for harmful driving situations when the water freezes in chilly climate. 

Mr Harvey, a motor mechanic who runs a profitable storage, was visited by native council officers 12 months in the past who identified that the constructing was unlawful.

An aerial view of the home above the agricultural hamlet of West Compton close to Shepton Mallet in Somerset which was constructed with out planning permission
West Compton villagers, Stuart Vaughan, Liz Mayhew and her husband Mike. Mr Vaughan mentioned: ‘[The house] may be very a lot seen to the entire of West Compton’

He utilized for 2 retrospective planning permissions to retain the 2 mattress dwelling as both a residential dwelling or an agricultural staff dwelling.

Each of those functions have been rejected by planners at Somerset Council, who served an enforcement discover on Mr Harvey, stating he needed to demolish the home inside six months.

He has since appealed towards the discover and the matter will now be referred to the planning inspectorate to determine upon.

The planning row has cut up the local people. Whereas the vast majority of residents in West Compton are against Mr Harvey’s illegal dwelling, he has the assist from individuals in close by Shepton Mallet the place his enterprise is predicated.

One in all his supporters mentioned the objection ‘stinks of nimbyism’. 

Harriet Ray, who lives within the Manor Home in West Compton, expressed privateness fears over the property. 

She mentioned: ‘The constructing is in a distinguished place on the summit of the hill and overlooks the homes and gardens of West Compton residents, inflicting a scarcity of privateness each in summer season and winter. At night time the property is lit up like a Christmas tree in order that the skyline is dominated by lights from the constructing.

‘My very own emotions are that it’s mistaken to construct one thing with out planning permission. All of us should get planning permission. If I wished to place up stables for my horses I must.

‘Why ought to he get away with it?’ 

The controversial property sits on agricultural land above the agricultural hamlet of West Compton
Native resident Mr Vaughan mentioned: ‘Due to the place it’s, the constructing has modified the contours across the property and there’s a lot of water now operating off the sector into the highway’

Stuart Vaughan, 77, mentioned: ‘He has constructed a reasonably fancy constructing which has unbelievable views. However it is rather a lot seen to the entire of West Compton as a result of it’s on prime of the ridge.

‘It’s got glass overlooking these unbelievable views. There are not any avenue lights in West Compton and no mild air pollution so when he places the lights on it’s lit up and it seems to be like an alien invasion from Mars.

‘Due to the place it’s, the constructing has modified the contours across the property and there’s a lot of water now operating off the sector into the highway.

‘When the planning software was refused the planning officer wrote a really sturdy abstract about it being utterly inappropriate.

‘He can be mad to not enchantment the choice to demolish it. He most likely spent £60,000 constructing it and it’s most likely value £500,000 now.

‘But when the authorities do not implement it then individuals will journey roughshod over planning legal guidelines.’

One of many arguments made by Mr Harvey for permitting the property was that he was an area employer who wanted to stay within the space.

However native resident Dr Michael Mayhew mentioned: ‘I’ve lived on this location since 1999 and I’ve by no means met Mr. Harvey. If he actually had a very good reference to the village this is able to not be the case.’

He added that the placement for this residence was ‘not within the least pleasant to walkers or cyclists and isn’t a location that must be inspired or permitted for residence for a younger household.’

The property is a single storey barn-style property that Tony Harvey believes is consistent with the countryside location
The property is surrounded by stunning inexperienced fields and areas of woodland

Though Mr Harvey refused to make any touch upon the matter when approached, his planning agent has acknowledged the property advantages the realm.

James Whilding, managing director of Acorus Rural Property Companies Restricted, mentioned in a planning report: ‘The design seeks to supply housing of remarkable high quality with top quality design, building and materials high quality.

‘The proposed improvement has been designed and thought of to replicate that of a up to date trendy dwelling, designed with Passivhaus rules in thoughts.’

He added that the property was ‘required for the applicant and companion with a powerful native connection to the agricultural settlement.’

Rob Smith, a buyer at Mr Harvey’s storage, supported the planning and believes there’s a ‘distinct stink of nimbyism’ from objectors.

He mentioned: ‘I really feel there’s a sturdy must maintain proficient onerous working tradespeople like Tony inside our group.

‘With home costs regionally being unaffordable to individuals from working class backgrounds, permitting individuals with the abilities and motivation to provide their very own is simply truthful and proper. If he (Tony) might afford to purchase a home within the prosperous village of West Compton which he calls ‘dwelling’, he would.

‘From my expertise, it might appear that the individuals of West Compton really feel exempt from having any improvement happening in ‘their’ village.

‘Most of the objections to this software have a definite stink of nimbyism.’

Stephanie Christensen mentioned she didn’t really feel that the constructing was obtrusive. She mentioned: ‘The dwelling is of a personality and elegance which isn’t imposing to the encircling areas.

‘The constructing is of a design and building which boosts its fast environment the place it’s apparent that actual care and thought has been achieved.

‘I totally imagine that this software must be supported by the native council, as each effort has been made to hold out a considerate design which is obvious by what’s on the bottom.’

A spokesperson from Somerset Council mentioned: ‘The Native Planning Authority, having fastidiously thought of the grounds for refusal, take into account it expedient and an enforcement discover has been issued requiring the property to be demolished and the land restored again to an agricultural subject.

‘The enforcement discover was served on 12 October and the proprietor has till 27 November to enchantment the discover to the Planning Inspectorate or demolish the property inside six months.’

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