A HOMEOWNER who raised the height of a wall to create a roof terrace without planning permission could be ordered to demolish it.

Retrospective permission was sought by the owner of 78 Beach Avenue, Leigh in 2018 for the terrace on a flat roof of the property.

The application was refused because it overlooked neighbouring gardens, but the structure has remained.

Alterations to a partially glazed parapet on a flat roof on the property raised its height to 1.2 metres above roof level.

Planning officers said the it was likely the flat roof had been used unofficially for some time and was initially used for maintenance purposes, but the alterations had allowed more social use as a roof terrace.

Now, enforcement action could be approved to pull it down.

A report said: “Some supporting evidence was submitted during the planning application process that on the balance of probability access to the flat roof has been long-established and the access arrangements to the flat roof indicate that it has been easily accessible to occupiers of the dwelling via a substantial internal stair and a small doorway for a considerable period of time.

“As a result of the alterations to the roof including the balustrade rail and raised parapet height, a formalisation of the existing roof as an amenity space has taken place encouraging an intensification of the use of the roof for general social use and living space and allowing longer dwell times by individuals at the edge of the roof, in relative safety, and facilitating the ability to look directly over the edge of the roof.

“This has caused an increase in direct overlooking over neighbouring private amenity spaces.”

When plans were initially refused, major concerns were raised that using the roof socially could impact neighbours.

Refusing the application, planners said: “The development leads to a change in the character of the use of the roof, facilitating its social use as an extension to the dwelling’s living space.

“It would allow direct views from the edges into rear private amenity spaces at surrounding dwellings to the north and east, leading to a material loss of privacy to occupiers therein to the detriment of amenities. This is unacceptable and contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework.”

Southend Council’s development control committee is recommended to take enforcement action against the homeowner.