Controversial garage extension approved in Upminster

Plans for a garage extension have been approved in Upminster, despite “speculation about who owns the site”.

The applicant applied to Havering Council for retrospective planning permission for a garage that was put up in a triangle shaped piece of land to the back of the house in Brookdale Avenue.

But the application was called in by Cllr Ron Ower (Res assoc, Upminster) due to the level of public interest in the application and discussed by the regulatory services committee on Thursday.

It relates to a triangle-shaped area where a garage and hardstanding is located. The application was asking to retain the garage for storage purposes for the hardstanding area to provide driveway access.

The council received 16 letters objecting to the proposals on the grounds: there is a boundary dispute; the applicants’ garden looks like a rubbish dump; noise and anti-social behaviour caused by the vehicles along the driveway; the triangle piece of land was not owned by anyone and was overgrown and used by wildlife.

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The objectors added: there is no need for applicants to site a garage on the triangle as their existing garden was big enough; there was insufficient public consultation; it was out of keeping with the quiet residential areas; and fears of a loss of property value.

At Havering Council’s regulatory services committee at the town hall yesterday (Thursday) Cllr Ron Ower said: “There has been considerable speculation about who owns part of the site. I would like to defer it to do a proper check on the land.”

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Cllr David Durant (Ind, Rainham and Wennington) said: “There’s quite a lot of unregistered land. This is a bit of a land grab situation without knowing who has permission for it.

“It’s retrospective permission, and there should be an issue of deferment so neighbours can identify whether it is their land.”

But officers said ownership of the land was not a council issue, and not a valid reason to refuse the application.

Planning permission was granted six votes to four as recommended by council officers.

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