A HOMEOWNER who built a “massive” extension on the back of their bungalow has been told it must be ripped down within three months.

Despite having a planning application rejected, the owner of the home in Westborough Road, Westcliff, built the eight-metre square extension without permission from Southend Council.

Neighbours complained to the council and a retrospective planning application was also refused in 2020.

Four years on, the council has now sanctioned enforcement action and ordered for the extension to be torn down within three months.

Speaking at a development control meeting on Wednesday, Carole Mulroney, Lib Dem councillor for Leigh Ward, said: “This was first brought to our attention in 2020. We’re now in 2024.

“I think it’s patently obvious this is a development too far. It’s massive. This is a development that’s been done without planning permission. It’s excessive and should be enforced against.”

Councillors voted unanimously to sanction enforcement action after hearing the extension was having an impact on neighbours and was not in keeping with the surrounding area.

At the meeting, a planning officer said: “The development results in an incongruous and visually harmful addition to the detriment of the character and appearance of the dwelling.

“It’s considered that the development results in a significant loss of amenity to the neighbour to the west as a result of dominance and the loss of outlook.”

They added: “Given the harm identified it’s reasonable, expedient and in the public interest to pursue enforcement action.

This will reasonably aim to secure the removal of the unauthorised extension in its entirety. It is considered three months is a sufficient and reasonable time to allow for compliance.”

If the homeowner fails to remove the extension, the council will be forced to take further action.

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 feature, harmful to the character and appearance of the existing dwelling and wider surrounding area.”