The saga over a former warehouse which has been used for housing without permission for more than two years has taken another twist after planning chiefs refused plans to make it legitimate.
Tenants have been living in the premises at 51 to 53 Wolverhampton Street, Willenhall, which is now a house of multiple occupation, since at least 2015.
Last year Walsall Council took enforcement action against the owner Jim Haliburton effectively evicting the residents, but the move was put on hold after he formally submitted an application to ‘change the use’ of the building retrospectively.
Now the authority’s planning committee has refused the proposal and is considering enforcement action once again, meaning residents face fresh eviction fears.
However it may not be the end of the lengthy dispute if Mr Haliburton contests the latest decision.
A council spokeswoman said: “This application was refused for lack of shared parking, limited bin storage and poor outlook for residents all impacting detrimentally on amenity.
“The planning file will now be passed to the Planning Enforcement team who will commence work on taking action to cease the use of the building as a HMO.
“This action though will need to be placed on hold if the applicants appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol in an effort to overturn the decision to refuse planning permission. If the appeal is dismissed, officers will press ahead with enforcement action.”
Earlier this month Mr Haliburton appealed the council’s decision to turn down planning permission for another of his properties in Butts Road, Walsall, in a very similar dispute.
Source: Express & Star