Extension to Woodford Green home is ‘bonkers’, says MP Iain Duncan Smith

�A planned residential extension which will go ahead despite being rejected by Redbridge councillors, has been branded “bonkers” by the local MP.

Iain Duncan Smith, the MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, met neighbours concerned about the proposed building works in Arundel Drive, Woodford Green, on Friday.

The garage of the home is to be demolished and a two-storey side extension built, which will deprive a neighbouring home of sun and “affect the environment”, according to residents.

A single-storey front extension and a two-storey rear extension are also planned.

Redbridge Council’s Regional planning committee rejected the plans in September but its decision was overturned by the Bristol-based planning inspectorate.

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Mr Duncan Smith, who was joined by council leader Cllr Keith Prince to view the building plans, said: “My view is it’s bonkers. It’s the biggest extension I’ve seen. It’s just astonishing.”

John Griggs, of Rokeby Gardens, said the side extension will go right up to his property’s boundary line.

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Neighbour John Norton, 64, added: “They [his neighbours] showed us the plans and we said it’s ridiculous. If we showed the plans to a bloke on the street, they would come out on our side.”

“It defies any kind of logic.”

But Cllr Prince admitted the council was now powerless to stop any building works, which must start within the next three years.

He said: “The [council’s] planning department recommended it for approval and the councillors said absolutely not.

“The issue is the planning inspectorate approved it and under the current legislation we have no power over him. “We would have more power under the Localism Bill. We can’t reverse this decision.”

The only recourse to the planning inspectorate’s decision would have been a High Court challenge, but the deadline for this has now passed.

Ahmad Moradi, who made the planning application, was not available for comment.

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