A COUPLE facing enforcement action over an ‘odd-looking’ extension to their terraced home are appealing against a decision to refuse planning permission to alter the extension.

Paul and Rachelle Horridge, of Helmshore Road, Haslingden, had until the end of this month, January, to take action to remove the extension, which includes a first-floor child’s bedroom.

Last month, Rossendale Council heard the extension encroaches onto a neighbour’s property, clashes with surrounding houses and could have damaged tree roots in a park next to the house, known as The Orchard.

The couple have been in a planning dispute with the authority about the unauthorised extension for some time, also including the Planning Inspectorate.

In December a retrospective application to keep the two-storey extension but make some changes, such as adding a stone pitched roof, was debated.

The current extension has a flat roof, wooden cladding and stone walls. The upper floor is a different width to the ground floor.

Mrs Horridge said: "We find ourselves in this extremely stressful situation because we trusted a builder who said the extension did not need a planning application. 

"He showed us a few examples of extensions including one nearby. We were within a few inches of regularity. I now see we were foolish.”

She said they had a young family and the extension was for one child, so she did not need to share a bedroom. The prospect of having to demolish the extension was having a ‘catastrophic impact’.

She also felt some objections were unfair and no tree roots were harmed.

But neighbour Graham Lowthion said the plans had been turned down twice before by Rossendale Council, decisions backed by a planning inspector, as it was out-of-character with other homes.

Mr Lowthion said a single-storey extension might be acceptable.

A council spokesman said this week: "Prior to the decision at December’s planning committee to refuse Mr and Mrs Horridge’s latest application, a previous decision by the Planning Inspectorate on their enforcement appeal meant they had to remove the unlawful extension this month.

“However, in respect of the refusal of their latest planning application in December, Mr and Mrs Horridge have confirmed their intention to exercise their rights to a planning appeal. This is expected to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate imminently.

“We have told the applicants any enforcement action will be put on hold pending the outcome of their appeal.  They have also been advised to submit a further planning application for a scheme that may be acceptable in planning terms."