A homeowner from Birmingham has slammed the council for refusing permission for an outbuilding used by fishermen on his land, saying it is “not appropriate” on the Green Belt
A man has been ordered to tear down a £16,000 “man shed” after being told his impressive timber structure flouted Green Belt rules.
Graham Cadman, 70, has branded the decision “hypocritical” after learning the authority has allowed 6,000 homes to be built on similar land less than a mile away, Birmingham Live reported.
The fishing lake boss built the shed in 2016 to give fishermen shelter in bad weather at the site in Sutton Coldfield, west Midlands.
The pensioner claims he was told by a Birmingham City Council officer that it was fine “as long as the structure had no windows and no doors and was no higher than four metres”.
But now he faces having to entirely dismantle the shed or face enforcement action, leading him to beg the council to rethink the decision.
He told The Sun : “I’m really upset about it. It seems so petty and vindictive to ask for this to be taken down. It is not doing any harm and just makes peoples’ lives a little bit easier. It’s not a dwelling It’s all open.
“This was a trout farm originally. We have a fishery and we are trying to increase it to 100 fishermen. I think the council are hypocrites.”
He said he was angry at the turn of events because of other developments in the local area.
“The council are in the process of building 170 homes on one greenbelt site and 5,500 on another and yet they want this to be torn down,” he said. “It makes no sense. To me they are just jobsworths.”
The decision has so far gone to two appeals – the first in 2019, with a site visit on October 28 and a decision dismissing the appeal on November 8 that year.
Planning inspector Jillian Rann said: “The Government attaches great importance to Green Belts. Therefore, substantial weight should be given to any harm to the Green Belt when considering any proposal for development within it.
“In this case, I have found harm to the Green Belt by reason of the proposed development’s inappropriateness.”
David Hill, senior enforcement officer at Birmingham City Council visited the site on April 13 this year and sent a letter the next day which states: “I have read both appeal decisions and it is a simple case of the structure use, for fishermen to use during inclement weather, does not out way its detrimental visual harm and its improperness’ within the green belt.
“It is my intention to return to the site in one month and if the structure is still in place, then the LPA will have no alternative but to instigate legal proceedings, against all persons with an interest in the land, to ensure compliance with the enforcement notice I do hope you will take steps to comply with the enforcement notice to avoid legal action.”
A spokeswoman for Birmingham City Council said: “This structure is situated in the Green Belt and a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC).
“No written request from Mr Cadman regarding his intentions to construct a detached structure was received. However, if full details and context of the proposed structure had been supplied then appropriate advice would have been given.
“Mr Cadman’s appeal against the refusal of planning permission was dismissed by the independent planning inspectorate and as the structure has yet to be removed enforcement action has begun.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.