We’ve been told to rip down our home as it doesn’t ‘fit in’ – neighbours love it

A RAGING couple have been ordered to demolish their mobile home after the council claimed it doesn’tfitwith the areaeven though neighbours LOVE it.

Locals want Stephanie Rolfe and Stuart MacDonald’s £50k home to stay putwith some even writing to the council begging them to change their mind.

Stephanie Rolfe, 41, claims her neighbours don't care about the £50k mobile home

Stephanie Rolfe, 41, claims her neighbours don’t care about the £50k mobile homeKrediet: Joseph Walshe SWNS
The council claim the home doesn't  'fit' in the area

The council claim the home doesn’t ‘fitin the areaKrediet: Joseph Walshe SWNS

But their efforts were to no avail, as Solihull Council claim the structure hasharmful effect on the character and appearance of the area”.

Locals disagree, claiming the quaint ground-floor homeenhanced that corner of the closein Solihull, West Midlands.

Nou, Stephanie, 41, and Stuart , 34, face a £60k bill to razer the house and fear being made homeless and penniless by Christmas.

Stephanie told the Sun: “I don’t want to demolish it. I’d rather go to prison that knock it down.

“This is my kids’ home and you’d do anything for your kids.

“We’ve offered to make changes that will allow us to keep our home but the council won’t listen.

The couple’s neighbours are backing them all the way.

Neighbour Gillian Tipping said: “I have watched Stuart grow up in our street playing alongside my own children when they were younger.

“I now get to see Stuart bring up his own family along with Stephanie.

Their family bring a lovely feel to our street and they are always helping out in the community.

It would be devastating for this young family to lose their home.

Obviously for them but also to the people of our street who many have formed close bonds with.

Nick Joneswhose mum Janet has lived on Kingswood Close for 46 jare – gesê: “We have never had any issue with the construction and appearance of the home.

“In fact it has enhanced that corner of the close.”

Stephanie added: “Not one neighbour has complained to the council. They have all been so supportive of us.

“We’ve had people knock on the door asking if there’s anything they can do to help or to pass on their best wishes.

“One of the things that makes all this so tough to take is that we have the support of the street and yet the council still want to kick us out and bulldoze our home.”

A letter to the council written by the couple’s neighbours reads: “We were astounded to hear that legal action has been taken by the council regarding this property.

“When you enter the close you are presented with a smart, well-designed property, making the close look modern and bright, far from the uniform look you can tell it once had been.

“The rendered white, grey and wooden fascias of the property were something that drew us to buying our own property on the close and something that is becoming more popular around the area.

“We have absolutely no objections or issues with the property in question. We feel it is a very inventive use of space that allows three generations of a family to live together.

“We would encourage Solihull council to […] leave this family to live happily in their home.”

In a desperate bid to keep their home, Stephanie turned to millionaire Graham Wildin, 69, wie was sent to prison for refusing to tear down his massive man cave.

The super-rich accountant built a 10,000 sq ft site and kitted it out with a squash court, cinema, casino, and even a bowling alleybut never got planning permission.

Graham was locked up for six weeks in August after refusing to comply with court orders to dismantle the massive structure.

Stephanie revealed she made she 140-mile round trip to Graham’s home in Cinderford, Gloucestershire, hours after Solihull Council secured a court injunction to flatten their three-bed timber home.

Sy het bygevoeg: “My partner thought I was nuts but it was a bank holiday weekend and I just couldn’t sit at home and stew.

The courts didn’t give us any direction and I sat there Googling ‘can you appeal?’, and nothing was clear.

No-one else was helping so I thought let’s go to Gloucestershire.

I just wanted to speak to someone who was going through a similar process to us to know what we could do about it.

I spoke to Graham through the gate. I said to him ‘this is going to be really weirdyou don’t know mebut I’ve read your story and we’re facing a similar thing’.

I don’t want to demolish it. I’d rather go to prison that knock it down.

Stephanie Rolfe

He was really nice and talked me through his process and how we could appeal. “

Stephanie and Stuart, 34, bought the mobile home to replace a garage built next door to Stuart’s mother.

They argue the home, wat is clad in white render and supported on breeze blocks, was permitted under caravan legislation.

Stephanie and Stuart, who have children Freddie, vyf, and Mollie, twee, said the decision to demolish it could leave them with a £60,000 bulldoze bill.

They would also be forced topay a mortgage on a home they no longer have”.

A Solihull Council spokesperson said: “The applicant began to build the structure without planning permission in early 2018.

HOME HEARTACHE

They were informed in June 2018 that the works were unauthorised, and subsequently applied for a Certificate of Lawful Development, but this was refused and enforcement action commenced a month later, as required by law.

The enforcement notice was appealed and once again was refused, this time by the Planning Inspectorate. Due to the Covid pandemic, the applicant was given more time to comply with the enforcement notice.

The council worked with the family for over four years to respond to enquiries and resolve the planning matter openly and fairly, however they chose not to.

The council therefore had to consider escalating the matter through the courts. All actions were undertaken in accordance with national planning legislation.”

Nuut plans brought forward in May mean residents can now vote on the size and style of extensions, new homes and conversions happening in their area.

It means that your neighbours could have the power to give the go-aheador make you shelveyour plans.

Experts earlier revealed the little-known rules that mean you WON’T need planning permission to build in your garden.

And a planning expert revealed how to convert outbuildings into an extra bedroomwithout permission.

Stephanie and Stuart, 34, bought the mobile home to replace a garage built next door to Stuart’s mother

Stephanie and Stuart, 34, bought the mobile home to replace a garage built next door to Stuart’s motherKrediet: Google Maps SWNS
Stephanie said she is now in the process of taking her fight to the Court of Appeal

Stephanie said she is now in the process of taking her fight to the Court of AppealKrediet: Joseph Walshe SWNS
The mobile home replaced an old garage

The mobile home replaced an old garageKrediet: Google Maps SWNS

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Planning permission changed in 2022

Residents now havemore involvement in local developmentfollowing new rules brought in back in May.

Neighbours are now allowed to vote on the size and style of extensions, new homes and conversions happening along their street, Volgens Die tye.

Residents can also decide whether more loft conversions and conservatories can be built in their local area without full planning permission.

It means that your neighbours could have the power to give the go-aheador make you shelveyour plans.

While new developments need to be in keeping with the local area and cannot be built on greenfield sites.

Households will also be able to havemore of a sayover whether street names should be changed.

Check with your local authority to see where you stand.