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Landowner told to demolish £500,000 home that ‘ lights up like Xmas tree’

By Katherine Lawton

A MECHANIC has been ordered to demolish his illegally-built £500,000 home overlooking a village after locals said it ‘lit up like a christmas tree’ at night.

Tony harvey failed to obtain planning permission for the contemporary family home near Glastonbury, Somerset.

The property sits on agricultural land above the hamlet of West compton. it is a single- storey barn-style home that mr harvey believes is in keeping with the countryside location.

But its sudden appearance provoked complaints from villagers over the amount of light from its large windows at night. One, Stuhe

‘Why should he get away with it?’

art Vaughan, said: ‘ There are no street lights in West compton and no light pollution so when he puts the lights on it looks like an alien invasion from mars.’

Others have claimed that the building has redirected the water run- off from the field on to the road, making for dangerous driving conditions in cold weather.

Mr harvey, a motor mechanic who runs a garage in nearby Shepton mallet, was visited by council officials 12 months ago who pointed out that the building was illegal. he applied for two retrospective planning permissions to retain the two-bedroom home as either a residential dwelling or an agricultural worker’s dwelling.

Both were rejected by Somerset council, which served an enforcement notice on mr harvey, stating had to demolish the house within six months. he appealed and the matter has been referred to the planning inspectorate.

The planning row has split the community. While the majority of West compton residents are opposed to mr harvey’s home, he has support from people in Shepton mallet. One said the objection ‘stinks of nimbyism’. But harriet Ray, who lives in West compton, said: ‘The building is in a prominent position on the summit of the hill and overlooks the houses and gardens of residents, causing a lack of privacy.

‘At night the property is lit up like a christmas tree so that the skyline is dominated by lights from the building.’

She added: ‘We all have to get planning permission. Why should he get away with it?’

One of the arguments made by mr harvey for allowing the property was that he was a local employer who needed to remain in the area.

But Dr michael mayhew, who lives in West compton with his wife Liz, said: ‘i have lived in this location since 1999 and i have never met mr harvey. if he truly had a good connection with the village this would not be the case.’





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