A homeowner, who paid £4,000 to have his muddy front garden transformed with new paving, may have to remove it after being told he requires planning permission.

The owner of 82 Gilbert Road, Chafford Hundred, Thurrock, has been ordered to apply for retrospective planning permission after he claims he was told by a council officer that planning permission is needed for new paved driveways in the area.

In his application to Thurrock Council, Cedvet Guven said: “The prior appearance of the front of our home was substandard. The floor was muddy and not practical for everyday living with it not only attracting dirt into the house but also presenting a trip hazard.

“Living at home is myself, a nearly retired bus driver, and my wife who throughout the pandemic was confined to our home due to being an extremely clinically vulnerable person.

Echo: Before - the muddy patch which was transformedBefore - the muddy patch which was transformed

“A neighbour carried out similar work to the front of their property and recommended the builders which they had used.

“No one including the council or the builders have mentioned the requirement for planning permission prior to this.”

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Mr Guven added: “The work carried out cost over £4,000 and we now live in fear of having this removed leaving us out of pocket and feeling distressed as this will no doubt also reduce the value of our property.

“The work was carried out to a high standard with zero subsidence. No damage to council property had occurred as a result of the work carried out nor any complaints received from neighbours instead kind hearted compliments on its appearance.”

Homeowners can install driveways under permitted development rights but Thurrock Council stated permitted development rights are removed “on occassion” as part of the planning process.

Echo: Planning permission required - the new drivewayPlanning permission required - the new driveway

A spokesman for Thurrock Council said: “The permitted development rights for hardstandings are national and apply throughout England.

“The permitted development rights only apply to single dwelling house – not flats or maisonettes – and are set out in the The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

“On occasion permitted development rights are removed as part of the planning consent.

“When applied this helps ensure certain types of development can be managed without causing harm through the planning application process. This is not uncommon nor specific just to parts of Chafford Hundred.”