Manchester mum and three kids could be forced out of granny annexe home over planning issues

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Town hall planners say they would be ‘incredibly reasonable’ in allowing the family to find alternative accommodation if no agreement can be reached.

A single mother and her three children could be forced out of the bungalow which was built in their family’s back garden without planning permission.

Shabena Ahmed, who has hearing difficulties, has lived in the ‘granny annexe’ since it was built outside the Whalley Range home in 2020. But now, the family of four could be forced to move out as Manchester city council rules that the three-bedroom single-storey dwelling does not meet standards.

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Town hall planners say they would be ‘incredibly reasonable’ in allowing the family to find alternative accommodation if no agreement can be reached. However, speaking on behalf of the family at a planning committee meeting on Friday (December 16), Kenneth Awele Okafor said that Shabena and her three children would be forced to move out the area if council officers get their way.

He said: “We are living in challenging times when families cannot afford to pay rent to live in houses across Manchester.

“We hope that the councillors can support our application so that Shabena and her kids can live as close as possible to the family and don’t become a burden on social housing.”

Mr Okafor told councillors on the planning committee that Shabena and her three children – who all attend a local school – want to live next to their family at the Montcliffe Crescent property so that their needs can be supported.

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The family say they submitted a planning application to retain the single-storey dwelling after receiving a letter from the local authority this year.

Single-storey dwelling built in a back garden in Montcliffe Crescent, Manchester. Credit: Ahmed familySingle-storey dwelling built in a back garden in Montcliffe Crescent, Manchester. Credit: Ahmed family
Single-storey dwelling built in a back garden in Montcliffe Crescent, Manchester. Credit: Ahmed family

Council planning boss Des Jones told the committee that the property has sub-standard garden areas and car parking and falls below space standards.

He described the dwelling as ‘cramped’ and ‘overdeveloped’ but said that this is a ‘difficult situation’ because there is a family already living in the property. However, he did not say that the family will have to knock down the building, but rather remove the fence which makes it a separate dwelling.

Other modifications might also have to be made to make sure the property’s floorspace meets the standards required for the number of bedrooms it has.

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He said: “To begin with, we’d enter into a period of negotiation with the applicant to try and resolve the issues without taking enforcement action to see if we can agree a period of time where there’s no need to serve the enforcement action and be reasonable in that time.

“That could be anything which is reasonable for them to find alternative accommodation.

“If we had to serve an enforcement notice, then again, we’d be reasonable in that timescale in wanting the building to return to either ancillary accommodation or removed.

“It’s likely to be returned to ancillary accommodation, the fence taken down and not used as a separate dwellinghouse.”

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Planning permission had been granted for a single storey outbuilding on the site in 2018 after two previous applications for dwellings were withdrawn.

The family is now considering appealing the decision by Manchester city council.

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