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I’m being evicted from my bungalow by cruel council for strange reason

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A DEVASTATED widowed stroke victim has slammed his council as they evict him because his house is the wrong “rhythm”.

Tony Edgar, from Pakenham near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, says he has been living in “hell” as officials show “a complete lack of compassion” after losing his beloved wife.

Tony Edgar is fuming after being told he can't live in his bungalow

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Tony Edgar is fuming after being told he can’t live in his bungalowCredit: SWNS
Stanley Lodge was built in 2010 as an outbuilding but soon became Tony's home

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Stanley Lodge was built in 2010 as an outbuilding but soon became Tony’s homeCredit: SWNS

The 55-year-old is being turfed out of a small bungalow, called Stanley Lodge, he built himself as an add-on to a bigger house.

However, when he suffered a stroke and lost his wife, Tony decided to live in the outbuilding full time.

The ex-builder applied to the council to establish it as a permanent home in November 2023 – but his proposal was rejected.

Council officials informed Tony he could not reside in the property, and it is “at odds” with the “rhythm” of the street.

Tony said: “It’s ridiculous – it shows a complete lack of compassion. I’ve lost everything – this is all I have left. I’ve lived here since 2017.

“You just can’t talk to them at all. It’s a classic case of councils spending time and money fighting things for no good reason. It’s so frustrating.”

The grandad-of-four explained he has difficulty walking since his stroke, and living in a home with stairs would be impossible.

He insists his bungalow “conforms to building regulations” and “meets all my physical needs”.

“My application for change of use didn’t even get as far as the planning committee. They just turned it down,” added the distressed homeowner.

“I have no income, no money, and I can’t earn. If I have to move out they’ll have to pay for me to be housed somewhere else. It just can’t be cost-effective for them.”

DREAM HOME

Tony and his late wife Joanne bought the house, called Newbury, in 2008 with plans to transform it into their dream home.

By 2010, the builder had constructed Stanley Lodge, but later abandoned plans to renovate the main property due to his poor health.

I’ve been through hell and I only want to keep living in the home I’ve been in for years and that meets all my needs.”

Tony Edgar

In 2017, after relying on his pension fund, the larger house was refurbished by professionals.

It was eventually sold in 2020 and Tony planned to continue living in Stanley Lodge.

PLANNING PERMISSION

When Tony constructed the bungalow, he was granted planning permission from the council.

However, approval was granted on the grounds the property was to be used as an outbuilding.

The council since refused Tony’s application to deem it a permanent dwelling on February 9.

Documents read: “The building is sited 40 metres back from the highway and is side facing, with the gable end being visible from the public realm of Fen Road, which is not a common characteristic of dwellings along Fen Road.

What are your retrospective planning permission rights?

A local planning authority can invite a retrospective application, according to Gov.uk.

You should submit your application without delay.

Although a local planning authority may invite an application, you must not assume permission will be granted.

A person who has undertaken unauthorised development has only one opportunity to obtain planning permission after the event. This can either be through a retrospective planning application or an appeal against an enforcement notice – on the grounds that planning permission should be granted or the conditions should be removed.

The local planning authority can decline a retrospective planning application if an enforcement notice has previously been issued.

No appeal may be made if an enforcement notice is issued within the time allowed for determination of a retrospective planning application

“Furthermore, with the setback nature of the building, the amenity land associated with the building would be located to the front of the site, which again, is not a common feature within Fen Road.”

West Suffolk Council said: “We are sympathetic to the applicant’s personal situation.

“However we cannot take personal circumstance into consideration when determining a planning application, and the independent Planning Inspector is now proceeding with their appeal in regards to the enforcement notice.

“Enforcement officers visited the site in 2010 and numerous times afterwards. The building was originally constructed as an outbuilding and the owner was warned several times that it could not be used for independent residential use.

“Once it was clear in 2019 it was being used as a separate residence without planning permission an investigation followed and an enforcement notice was issued.

“An application to retain the building as a separate dwelling was recently refused.”

The Sun online reached out West Suffolk Council for comment.

FIGHTING BACK

An appeal against the enforcement notice has since been launched.

The investigation is now being undertaken by an independent Planning Inspector.

Tony said: “None of this makes any sense at all.

“I’ve been through hell and I only want to keep living in the home I’ve been in for years and that meets all my needs.”

What are your rights?

Planning permission guidance according to gov.uk

You will need to request planning permission if you wish to build something new, make a major change to your building or change the use of your building – for example starting a business.

To find out if you need planning permission you should contact your Local Planning Authority through your council.

If planning permission is refused you can appeal.

You are able to appeal if you were refused planning permission for reasons that you think go against the LPA’s development plan or planning policy (you can usually find these on their website).

You can also appeal if you were granted planning permission with conditions you object to – you’ll need to explain why you think they’re unnecessary, unenforceable, vague, unreasonable or irrelevant.

Another ground for appeal is if the LPA has not given you a decision on your application and 8 weeks have passed since the date they told you they’d received it (or a different deadline you agreed with them has passed).

The original house Tony Edgar bought, Newbury, before selling in 2020

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The original house Tony Edgar bought, Newbury, before selling in 2020Credit: SWNS
The widower says his is living in 'hell'

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The widower says his is living in ‘hell’Credit: SWNS

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