Manzur Khan had placed eight shipping containers on top of an old swimming pool in his garden and initially had temporary planning permission for a two-year period but, when he tried to change it to permanent use as accommodation excluding sleeping for relatives, it was refused. This was despite the application stating the appearance of the containers would be altered to an acceptable standard so they are “suitable for the site” in rural Langho, near Blackburn, Lancashire.
Ribble Valley Borough Council has told Mr Khan to remove the containers, which still sit on top of the unfilled pool.
The authority, which is in the power of the Conservative Party, said the work would cause “significant harm to the visual character and openness of the character of the greenbelt”.
Langho is a small country village, just outside of Forest of Bowland, an Area of Natural Beauty in picturesque Lancashire.
In a report, planning officer Stephen Kilmartin said: “It is considered that the proposal represents inappropriate development within the defined greenbelt which results in significant harm to the visual character and openness of the character of the greenbelt.
“It is further considered that the applicant has failed to demonstrate “very special circumstances” that would outweigh the identified visual harm and harm to the visual or spatial openness of the greenbelt resultant from the development, as such the tests of Paragraph 148 of the National Planning Policy Framework have not been met.”
But Mr Khan, who runs a e-commerce business, said in his argument the plans would be sympathetic to the rolling countryside. He also claimed the units would be for “leisure use,” Lancs Live reports.
Floorplans Mr Khan submitted show he hoped to include two bedrooms, a lounge and kitchen area in the converted containers.
The original pool house was demolished after the roof collapsed in 2006.
The row comes after a council in Devon finally ordered a couple to remove a fence – because it upset their neighbours and obstructed their right of way on a rural lane.