THE owner of a luxury four-storey house with four bedrooms, a swimming pool, a lower ground floor and outside balconies has been allowed to keep the much larger home he built in defiance of the original planning approval.

Stavros Vanavas was granted planning permission for the original property in Maplre Crescent, Rishton,in November 2020.

But the actual house he constructed was much larger.

On Wednesday Hyndburn Council planning committee gave backdated planning permission for the final version despite objections from neighbours and misgivings from councillors over retrospectively and approving a building which ignored the law.

The committee could have refused Mr Vanavas's application and ordered him to pull the house down and rebuild if in accordance with the November 2020 permission.

Its chairman Cllr Judith Addison expressed concern about approving a house built in contravention of the original permission which was echoed by fellow committee members Cllrs Melissa Fisher, Susan Hayes and Bernard Dawson.

Planning manager Simon Prideaux warned that if permission was refused Mr Vanavas would almost certainly appeal.

Cllr Hayes said: "If we approve this, what kind of message are we sending out?"

Cllr Fisher described the house as built as 'massive and overbearing'.

Cllr Dawson said: "I don't like retrospective permissions but we have to realistic."

Mr Prideaux told the committee: "The house was constructed but not in accordance with the approved plans. It is considerably larger.

"The main changes are an increase in height of 1.149metres; an increase in width from 6m to 9.8m; and changes to the height of the porch and window arrangements."

He revealed that two letters of objection had have been received raising points including: the development had been completed without planning permission; the scale of the property does not fit in with the other properties on the close; the property is on four levels and overlooks all the properties on Maple Crescent; residents cannot sit in parts of their garden without being over-looked; and people are wanting to move out because of the effect this development had on views.

Mr Prideaux said: "Taking into consideration the previous planning permission, it is not considered that the harm arising from the development is sufficient to make the development unacceptable and justify refusal of planning permission."