Published: 15:42, 05 August 2021
| Updated: 16:12, 05 August 2021
Action has been taken against a developer who defied planning permission.
Concerns were raised about a block of flats in Ingram Road, Gillingham, after the developer built more than they'd been permitted by Medway Council.
During a planning committee meeting at the end of June, councillors turned down retrospective plans for a block of nine flats. Permission had previously been granted for a development consisting of two blocks of 17 and five flats respectively.
Councillors refused permission, arguing that upping the number of flats in Block B of the development from five to nine would cause issues with parking and neighbours' privacy.
Despite this, the block has been occupied and following the committee's decision, the council has served an enforcement notice on developers Windmill Construction.
A public meeting was held last month at St Mary Magdalene Church, during which residents of neighbouring Gillingham Green and those living in Block A of the development - which is council-owned - were able to hear from the council's head of planning Dave Harris.
During the meeting, planning officers were offered the chance to go into neighbours' gardens to see the extent of overlooking for themselves.
Ward councillor Adam Price (Lab), who was at the meeting, said: "It can be very confusing to residents but we have been working mainly with the residents who live in Gillingham Green which backs on to Block B and they have formed their own '89 Ingram Road' WhatsApp group.
"It was interesting to hear from an occupant who's recently moved into one of the blocks about the impact it's having on them as well due to the intensification of the occupation more than what had been agreed; they are being affected as well."
Medway Council's enforcement notice will come into effect unless the developer appeals. The notice requires them to either demolish the building or make necessary changes to comply with the planning permission for five flats.
The council said if the developer fails to adhere, it will explore further legal action.