Businessman who built five-bedroom mansion without permission ordered to BULLDOZE it after losing planning battle | The Sun

A BUSINESSMAN who built a five-bedroom mansion without permission during the pandemic has been told to bulldoze it after losing a planning battle.

Gareth Wilson completed the property on his Tennox Farm estate near Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, in December 2021.

The sandstone building features a roof with Spanish slate while inside there is a spiral staircase and a stacked balcony.

Tennox Farm also features several business ventures including holiday rental properties.

But Wilson failed to submit formal planning permission to North Ayrshire Council before starting work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Officials ordered him to complete paperwork for the house in March last year but refused to grant retrospective planning permission months later.

They said the 1.5 storey building had a 'negative impact' on the area and was not in keeping with the 'established character' of the countryside.

The Coal Authority had also raised fears the property could be impacted by past shallow mining and could be at risk of collapse.

Planners ruled the building would have to be knocked down and returned to its former state.

Wilson appealed the decision to the Scottish Government in a bid to have it overturned but officials have now upheld the council decision.

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Wilson claimed the council enforcement was invalid due to a lack of specification and said it was 'excessive'.

He had also insisted the decision was against his human rights.

Documents submitted on his behalf said: "Upholding the notice without extending the compliance period would be contrary to the human rights of the appellant, his partner and family members.

"As the new house is the home of the appellant and his partner and the part-time home of the other family members, the reporter should consider, when determining the appeal, the implications of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

"This is particularly important as the council did not consider the human rights of the appellant and his family when resolving to issue the notice.

"It is submitted that it would be disproportionate and therefore unlawful to uphold the notice without (at least) extending the compliance period."

North Ayrshire Council said: "It is considered that the development has a negative impact on visual amenity and is incongruous with the established character of the countryside area."

In a written ruling, government reporter Fortune Gumbo said: "I do not consider that there is a genuine housing need issue in play in this appeal as the appellant has other dwellings within the farm. In the alternative, should alternative accommodation be sought outside the farm, the appellant, by his admission, is of considerable means and as such this would not be an insurmountable obstacle.

"My findings are that the enforcement action proposed does not infringe on the appellant’s (and family) human rights, however, should an argument be made that there is an infringement, that infringement is on balance outweighed by the public interest objectives.

"I have considered all of the other matters raised, but there are none which would lead me to alter my conclusion that the enforcement notice should be upheld."

Wilson was approached for comment while his lawyers, Brodies, said they did not comment on client matters.

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North Ayrshire Council declined to comment further.

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