Part of a block of flats which left neighbours feeling like they have the Titanic parked at the end of their garden must be knocked down.
Canterbury City Council today served an enforcement notice to the firm which built the 12 “monolithic” homes in Canterbury Road, Whitstable.
It comes after KentOnline reported how residents were left in tears at the sight of the white building, who claim it has knocked tens of thousands of pounds off the value of their homes.
Permission was granted for the building two years ago, and the original designs had a brick finish, in keeping with the surrounding properties.
But instead, an “ugly” and “out of character” white, modern complex was constructed - and even developers Whitstable Nest admit it is a far cry from the approved designs.
Now, the firm will have to tear down the rear extension of the development and the roof.
Council spokesman Robert Davies said: “Following the recent decision of our Planning Committee to refuse the revised planning application, we have now served a planning enforcement notice.
“The notice requires demolition work to be completed within three months.
“It should be noted that the owner does have the right to appeal against this notice.
“Any appeal would need to be made, within 28 days from today, to the Planning Inspectorate.
“The developer does have the option - which we are strongly encouraging - of reconstructing the rear extension as per the previous planning permission for the building.”
John Morley, of Whitstable Nest, apologised to neighbours while speaking to MailOnline last week.
The 52-year-old said: “We are sorry. There have been mistakes but we are working to fix them.
“When we bought the building a year and a half ago it was very run down.
“It was a drug den, with over 200 rats and 50 pigeons.
“The building is here now, we made a mistake but we followed professional advice.
“It's going to cost me a quarter of a million pounds, but we are saying sorry, and we want to fix it. I accept that.”
Residents voiced their concerns at a council planning meeting on October 17.
Composer Helen Caddick, whose property backs directly onto the new block, said: “I burst into tears when we returned from our holiday in 2022 and saw how enormous the building had become and how high.
“I feel depressed every time I look at it and I no longer enjoy sitting in my garden as the building is overbearing.”
Chartered Architect of 35 years Michael Shoobridge is a friend of the residents and also came to fight their case at the planning committee.
He argued the block has a “monolithic presence,” adding: “You don’t need to debate over the drawings to see how oppressive this structure is you can go and see it for yourself in three dimensions”.