A DEVELOPER has ignored planning laws and converted a five-bedroom home into two self-contained flats - but he now faces having to rip them both out.

Southend Council is set to authorise enforcement action against the owner of the end-terraced building - 72 Boscombe Road, Southend.

Planning officers visited the property in October 2018 and discovered the developer had already converted the home, without even requesting planning permission, sparking the enforcement action threat from the council.

In a bid to legitimise the conversion, a planning application was then submitted by the developer in December 2018, requesting retrospective permission from the council to convert the house into two flats.

This was refused in February this year as officers felt the loss of a single-family home would be detrimental to the borough because of the need for this type of housing.

The application was then referred to the planning inspectorate on appeal by the owner which was also later dismissed.

The inspector concluded: “The change of use would have an unacceptable effect on the housing mix in the area.

“I find that the loss of a single-family house is unacceptable at this time.”

No further planning application was submitted to seek to overcome the reason for refusal.

Planning officer Hayley Thompson said: “Taking enforcement action in this case may amount to an interference with the owner or occupier’s human rights.

“However, it is necessary for the council to balance the rights of the owner and occupiers against legitimate aims of the council to regulate and control land within its area.

“In this particular case, it is considered reasonable, expedient and proportionate, and in the public interest too, to pursue enforcement action to require the unauthorised use as two flats to cease.”

Officers have made a recommendation that the development control committee authorise enforcement action at a meeting scheduled for next week.

They have suggested a deadline of four months for the work to be completed.

This is the second time this month that Southend Council has taken action against illegal development in the borough.

A landlord was ordered to tear down two flats illegally built over parking spaces in Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff.