Wall fall down!

PUBLISHED: 12:49 08 December 2006 | UPDATED: 19:53 01 June 2010

Charlie Cunningham pictured in May outside his “barn” - Pic: Brian Purdy

Charlie Cunningham pictured in May outside his “barn” - Pic: Brian Purdy

A TRAVELLER has been given two weeks to demolish a house he built without planning permission. Charlie Cunningham, of Wheatley Bank, Walsoken, has lost an appeal against an enforcement notice forcing him to demolish the two-storey building on land west of

A TRAVELLER has been given two weeks to demolish a house he built without planning permission.

Charlie Cunningham, of Wheatley Bank, Walsoken, has lost an appeal against an enforcement notice forcing him to demolish the two-storey building on land west of Flying Field Farm, Wheatley Bank.

Mr Cunningham had argued that the structure in question was a barn, but the planning inspectorate threw out these claims, citing a number of details of the development which led them to believe the building was intended as a home.

Planners decided the building's many windows, domestic-size doors and internal walls all pointed to intended use as a dwelling house, as did the number of rooms inside and the cavity wall insulation.

They also remarked on ornate iron railings and gates installed around the plot as being an unusual addition to an agricultural development.

Mr Cunningham has two weeks to comply with the enforcement order, which demands that the building, footings and gateposts be torn down and all materials and equipment from the build removed from the site.

If this does not happen by the deadline, West Norfolk Borough Council's contractors will be sent to carry out the task - and Mr Cunningham will be billed for the cost.

The council's cabinet member for development, Councillor Carol Sharp, said: "Unauthorised development is a matter this council views very seriously. We hope the action taken against this development will serve as a stark warning to others.

"Anyone planning a development should seek advice from their local authority as to whether they require planning permission and should also ensure that they are clear about exactly what it is they are planning to build."

Earlier this year, Mr Cunningham told the Standard: "I can't understand what the council's problem is - it's poppycock."

He claimed the building was built to a high standard and said: "I'm a traveller and we're brought up to keep things clean and tidy and respectable.


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