HOMEOWNERS have been hit with a warning not to risk carrying out building work without permission as Southend Council prepare to order the owners of a bungalow to tear down an illegal extension.

Neighbours of 203 Westborough Road, Westcliff, initially complained in 2020 about construction taking place on a huge single-storey extension on the bungalow.

Repeated retrospective applications by the owners of the home have been rejected by the council and Southend Council sent a final warning last year for work to stop.

The householder didn’t respond to the warning and Southend Council’s development control committee are now being asked to sanction enforcement action.

Planning officers said the extension was “unacceptable in relation to design and residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers”.

David Garston, councillor responsible for housing and planning, said: “We do not have officers going round the city looking to see where things have gone up without planning permission. The officers and the members react when there are complaints.

“Councillors very often are asked to go and see a resident they represent complaining about a huge addition to a building next door and, on checking, there isn’t planning permission.

“The fact that it is on the development control committee means that somebody nearby whose life is affected by it has complained. It’s a shame that people do that because these extensions are very expensive. Building costs are horrendous these days. It’s such a risk.”

If approved on Wednesday, the homeowner will have to remove the extension.

Mr Garston added: “Officers would have advised them thoroughly on what they would likely be able to have accepted. I feel sorry for them because it’s a waste of money but at the same time it’s a dangerous road to go down.”

A report to the committee said: “The rear extension, by reason of its excessive size, depth, scale, bulk and height, its poor design and failure to integrate with the existing building appears as an incongruous and obtrusive, overly dominant feature, harmful to the character and appearance of the existing dwelling.”

It concluded: “Given the harm identified above, it is reasonable, expedient and in the public interest to pursue enforcement action in the circumstances of this case.”