Neighbours' anger as controversial mansion build is left unfinished (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Clayton neighbours speak of their frustration over controversial home left half built
Residents fear they could be left living next to an eyesore after workmen pulled off the site of a partially-constructed house being built in controversial circumstances.
People living in Sandringham Road, Clayton, say builders downed tools some weeks ago and now they are worried they will be left with a half-finished house, adding to the problems they have been fighting for four years to get the property either pulled down or reduced in size.
Developer Jasinder Singh has been asked by Bradford Council to submit new plans after a number of planning breaches came to light during site visits by its officers.
But fed-up residents have made numerous complaints to the Council, accusing officers of not doing enough to make sure the developer of the mansion-style house sticks to his plans.
One resident Pam Cunningham, who lives opposite the house, said the situation had become a farce.
Planners had previously rejected permission for a 13-bedroom house on the site and planning records show five other sets of tweaked plans were then re-submitted until the scheme with seven bedrooms, a playroom and study, a games room and a detached double garage was approved last summer.
But residents insist the actual build has still deviated from the newer plan.
Mrs Cunningham said: “We are in the dark as to what’s happening now. The builders have all disappeared, work has stopped – it’s just abandoned.
“For all we know we could be left for years looking at this half-finished house that hasn’t been approved.”
Julian Jackson, the Council’s assistant director for planning, transport and highways, said officers had asked the applicant to submit “accurate plans” so a decision could be made whether to grant planning permission.
He said: “Staff have been out on site to survey the building and have asked the applicant to submit accurate plans which will be the subject of a retrospective planning application.
“All representations will be considered at the decision stage. If planning permission is denied, Bradford Council can consider taking enforcement action.”
Councillor Val Slater, the Council’s executive member for planning, said: “If the building has not been built to plan, then it is right that the builders go off-site and no further work is done, and that we ask for the proper plans to be submitted so they can be considered.
“Although it has been four years in the building, once planning permission is granted people have up to five years to actually start building and there is nothing in the regulations that say they have got to complete it.
“So I do understand how frustrating planning can be, particularly to people living nearby, but we have to work within the national rules and guidelines.”
Last month, Councillor Howard Middleton, a member of Bradford Area Planning Panel, criticised the number of retrospective bids to correct breaches, warning people were being allowed to ride roughshod over planning rules in the district.
He claimed all too often the Council was turning a blind eye to planning breaches, and that this was having a "corrosive" effect on public faith in the system.
He said then: "It's this piecemeal approach to building when you get something you didn't set out with that upsets people understandably."
Mr Singh could not be contacted by the Telegraph & Argus for a comment.
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