A resident who built what looked like a small detached house on his driveway without planning permission has now converted it into a garage.
The homeowner – Mr Singh – was originally given approval to build a single-storey garage on Vaughton Street, in Highgate, Birmingham, in 2019.
But instead, he decided to build a small two-storey house on his driveway – with four separate rooms.
Shocked planning bosses ordered him to demolish the house after a failed appeal in which he claimed there were only ‘minor’ differences to a garage.
New photographs now show he has finally turned the residential building into an actual garage.
However, it may not be the end of the planning battle as Mr Singh had been ordered to demolish it entirely in 2022.
Photographs now show he has finally turned the residential building into an actual garage
A before and after of the ‘garage’ taken in 2022 and 2024
The garage is now a single floor and the ‘front door’ has been removed
Now, only a single window can be seen above the garage door
Mr Singh’s family had also previously said they were using the mini property as a gym and were defiant – insisting it was staying put.
The building was complete with windows, a front room, front door and roof extension.
A woman who answered the door of the house refused to comment when approached.
One local who wished to remain anonymous today said: ‘They are nice people and they only built it for themselves.
‘They were very courteous of people passing by while the work was being done and always made sure it was neat and tidy.
‘They never caused any trouble for anyone around here.’
Previously, those living in the area labelled the original structure an ‘eyesore’.
They said: ‘It looks like they have finally complied with the order and thank goodness because it was an eyesore.
‘It’s nice to see that common sense has now prevailed.
‘They will be kicking themselves though, it must have cost them a few bob to throw that up in the first place and now having to pay to pull it mostly down.
A Google Streetview image of the property in 2009 before the application to build the garage
The original plans submitted to Birmingham City Council showed traditional garage
The property was reportedly being used as a mini gym by the family
The windows have been removed in the new converted building
‘It’s hard to have too much sympathy with them though as they were clearly in the wrong.
‘They’ve been working on it for a few weeks now and it certainly looks more like a garage.’
Another neighbour said: ‘We just assumed they had permission to do that in the first place.
‘You’re never happy to see extensions or new-builds going up blocking out sunlight or replacing gardens and trees but it’s just what people do.
‘But if it was only given permission to be a garage I cannot see how they thought they would ever get away with it. It’s clearly a house.
‘How on earth they were planning to pass that off as garage, God only knows.’
Mr Singh was given until July to get rid of the new building for being in breach of the original planning permission.
Planners had originally given approval for a 5.3m x 4.6m garage to be built at the location, which the new building exceeded by several metres.
Planning Inspector Thomas Shields wrote in his report after visiting the house: ‘The appellant’s case is that the building already benefits from planning permission granted by the council in 2019.
‘He argues that although there are differences between the approved plans for the garage and the appeal building they are minor differences.
‘The approved plans for the garage show a single storey detached garage with a footprint of 5.3m x 4.6m and a height of 3.6m.
‘It was also shown having a standard garage door to the front and no windows on any elevation.
‘In comparison with the approved garage the appeal building has a footprint of approximately 8.7m x 4.7m and a height of 5.3m.
Builders hard at work on the property were pictured in January 2023
‘Consequently, it is substantially larger than the approved building. It is not a minor difference.’
Mr Shields continued: ‘Instead of single-storey, the appeal building is 1.5 storeys and has two rooms in the roof, facilitated by an almost full-width box dormer.
‘Instead of a garage door, there is a pedestrian door into the front room and a tripartite bow window.
‘Two more windows in the rear elevation serve a separate, smaller room.
‘All of these differences, between what was approved, and what has been built, are not minor.
‘Since the appeal building bears little resemblance to the scale and design of the approved single-storey garage, it does not benefit from that planning permission.
‘The requirements of the notice are: demolish the entire unauthorised detached structure and remove all demolished building materials and rubble from the premises.’
Birmingham City Council said previously: ‘We served an EN (enforcement notice) for the demolition of the unauthorised structure when the owner lost at appeal.
‘We are in discussions with the owner re timeline. Compliance with the notice was due by July 1, 2022.’
A spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Planning consent was granted for a single story detached garage to the side of the property on 7 March 2019.
‘The building erected following that permission bore little resemblance to the original scale and design, as a result enforcement action followed and remedial works carried out to reduce its size, returning it to its planned use as storage/garage.
‘Planning permission was already in place for a very similar building, so no further action was considered necessary.’