Builder ordered to permanently remove fifth storey of Kettering apartment block after planning breach

The planning breach was noticed by North Northants Council who issued the enforcement notice

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 3:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 4:19 pm

A construction company which breached planning permission and began adding an extra floor to a Kettering apartment block has been told to remove it.

Michigan Construction Ltd had been granted planning permission to develop the site next to the Prince of Wales pub in Job’s Yard, managing to secure approval for a four-storey building for nine flats.

But builders started work to add a fifth floor, in a breach of the approved planning permission, leading to a temporary stop notice being issued by North Northamptonshire Council in August.

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The notices were served at the premises today (September 8)

After that notice expired workers were spotted on site again last week – but now a second stop notice has been issued and attached to the site's railings dated today (September 8, 2021).

The new notice says that, to ‘remedy the breach of planning control’, the firm must ‘permanently remove the fifth storey’.

It has been given two months to do so from the date the notice takes effect, which is October 11 subject to appeal.

Michigan Construction has a base in Robinson Way, on the Telford Way Industrial Estate, Kettering, but the company office is registered in Towcester and is owned by Marcus Fielding.

The apartment building in Job's Yard

The first stop notice had stated that the builder was “to cease all the activity – construction activity associated with the building of a five-storey block of flats – other than limited work required to make this site safe,” adding the reason for the notice being issued as “a fifth floor is being constructed unlawfully following the grant of planning permission under KT/2019/0908 which was for four storeys only.”

Planning permission for the Job’s Yard development of nine apartments – six one-bedroom and three two-bedroom – had been granted after an appeal to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate on January 26, overturning a decision made by the then Kettering Borough Council.

The planning permission appeal was granted for a four-storey apartment block with a stepped profile to set the upper storeys further from the adjacent buildings.

Concerns had been raised previously by Kettering Civic Society on behalf of the Toller Church that the flats – to be built with no car parking spaces – in the Kettering Conservation Area would add traffic down the narrow Meeting Lane, and affect neighbours by blocking out light and affecting their privacy.

The plans showed number of floors

Despite objections, the Planning Inspectorate granted the appeal saying: “I find that the appeal proposal [the flats] would not harm the character and appearance of the area, including the setting of the Kettering Conservation Area, with particular regard to scale, mass and design.

“Furthermore, the appeal proposal would not impose any greater harm to the living conditions of neighbouring residential properties than the fall-back position that would be unacceptable.

“Consequently, there would be no conflicts with the development plan in these regards.

“There are no other matters before me that would indicate that the appeal should not succeed.”

How the finished building should have looked

A temporary stop notice requires that an activity which is a breach of planning control should stop immediately upon service of the notice.

It is an offence to contravene a temporary stop notice.

On summary conviction the fine is limited to £20,000 or on indictment the fine is unlimited.