A VILLAGER has threatened to build a huge garage outside the home of a man who put up an extension without permission – if it is given retrospective planning consent.

John O’Connor was so furious after his neighbour Charles Ryan applied for retrospective planning permission for work he had already done in Quebec, County Durham, that he has warned planning officers he might put up a building without consent unless the extension is demolished.

In a letter of objection sent to Durham County Council’s planning department, Mr O’Connor wrote: “If this retrospective application is approved I will be building a triple garage and workshop on the common strip of land directly outside the Ryans’ residence, as the Ryans can get away with doing what they want why should the rest of us bother with any planning laws.”

Mr O’Connor, who lives on the same side of Front Street as Mr Ryan, said the extension is just the latest planning application or building by Mr Ryan and his family to upset people in the area.

Last year Mr Ryan applied for permission to build a stable block on land opposite both men’s houses and began earthworks before applying for planning permission, but later withdrew the proposal.

A few months earlier Andrea Ryan had submitted plans for a building for therapeutic and psychological services for adults and children on the field, which was also withdrawn.

The extension subject to the latest application was built to enclose external steel steps on a converted garage on which a workshop was built and given planning permission – retrospectively - by the former Derwentside District Council in 1995.

The two storey extension which has caused upset in the Quebec area, near Durham

The two storey extension which has caused upset in the Quebec area, near Durham

Mr O’Connor is one of a number of objectors to the application, whose complaints include the look of the rendered two-storey extension and the demolition of part of an old churchyard wall to make way for it.

He said: “This extension to the dwelling house is completely out of character and its scale looks totally out of place to the historic graveyard wall it replaces.

“This building is unsightly, it is an eyesore from all angles, is of poor design and completely ruins the street scene when driving or walking up Front Street.

“The dwelling house is overbearing, the way this extension has encroached over the graveyard, and has the look of Mrs Bucket’s house from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

He added: “I hope the council and church make him demolish this eyesore extension and rebuild the graveyard wall.”

Mr Ryan has told The Northern Echo he believed the extension could be built under permitted development rights, that he owns the wall which was partially demolished and has denied previous allegations of vandalism to the old churchyard.


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