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Demolition to commence on illegal Bishopbriggs home

April 29 2014

Demolition to commence on illegal Bishopbriggs home
Demolition is set to get underway later today on a £500k Bishopbriggs home which was built in contravention of its own planning consent - after East Dunbartonshire Council served an enforcement order on the property’s owners.

The five bedroom property exceeded the dimensions specified in its original plans by two metres in height, three metres in length and 1.2m in width – alongside unapproved windows and an illegal 13ft balcony.

This prompted submission of a retrospective planning application by architects CRGP which was subsequently thrown out  by planners who were scathing of its ‘incongrous’ contribution to the street scene and an ‘overbearing and overdominant’ impact on neighbours.

As such, two years after being built, the home lacks both planning consent and a building warrant leaves its owners nothing to show an £11.5k demolition bill.

Blaming contractors for the debacle owner Andy Murray said prior to the demolition: “I don’t blame the council. They have exhausted every other avenue. It is a disaster for us. We’ll be out on the street.”

CRGP declined to comment on the affair and main contractor Textura is in voluntary liquidation.
The overscaled property towers over neighbouring bungalows
The overscaled property towers over neighbouring bungalows
Vandals have broken into the rubble strewn site
Vandals have broken into the rubble strewn site


#1 Posted by stephen on 29 Apr 2014 at 17:31 PM
I'm glad the planners have shown they have teeth, but in fairness this looks no worse than the dross that surrounds it...
boaby wan
#2 Posted by boaby wan on 30 Apr 2014 at 08:24 AM
how is that a £500k house?! if the contractor has managed to convince the owner that's 500k worth I'm surprised they have gone into liquidation.
Ian Nairn Jr
#3 Posted by Ian Nairn Jr on 30 Apr 2014 at 09:06 AM
Apparently it's a £160K site and they've spent £300K on the house (though even that amount is difficult to believe). So they'll still have the site, with it's services etc - all is not lost. It's not clear if it was the architect who gave bad advice, or the contractor who built it, or the client who gave the instructions who's at fault. A sorry tale all round though.
Rem Koolbag
#4 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 30 Apr 2014 at 09:30 AM
I wonder if an architect was involved at all INJ?

This reeks of the typical set up where a house owner/prospective owner approaches a builder who can 'do plans' and entrusts them with everything from there on. Usually with no particularly rigorous contract beyond exchange of monies.

Having tried to compete as an architect in this sort of market, and had far too many bug eyed responses when submitting a fee, I can see there having been little or no architectural involvement.

The other route often gone down is architect appointed to gain planning and building warrant as a homer and not seen or wanted again once paperwork is with the client.

A sad state of affairs if true. And its a bogger.
Mac Mac
#5 Posted by Mac Mac on 30 Apr 2014 at 10:57 AM
So CRGP did the retrospective planning application. Did any journalist think to ask who did the original application that was approved??
If CRGP were not involved previously I think it is unfair for them to be tarnished with the story.
I am sure the £50K bathroom and kitchen suites can be sold on as well as the site.
Anyone want some gold plated taps?? Going cheap!!
Pete Pedant
#6 Posted by Pete Pedant on 30 Apr 2014 at 14:10 PM
Mac Mac, I agree that CRGP should not be tarnished with this debacle, however the issue is not with who submitted the original application, as that was granted planning permission. The issue is with who took the decision to depart so drastically from the approved scheme (presumably the Contractor) without reverting to the Council. It happens all the time on much larger schemes and generally leaves Councils under pressure to approve retrospective consent for unacceptable developments. Much harder to justify here, so glad EDC had some teeth (albeit a lot of sympathy for the owner).

Also, glad to see an article on UR where Planners are not being lambasted (however, there's time yet...)
#7 Posted by hingwy on 30 Apr 2014 at 14:41 PM
The RIAS should be raising their heads from slumber to use this as an example of what could go wrong when you don't have an agent, such as a registered Architect, looking after your project through the build stages. I imagine they won't and the general public will assume that architects (generally) are to blame.
Kenny Kitchens
#8 Posted by Kenny Kitchens on 30 Apr 2014 at 15:29 PM
It's about time that local authorities insisted that all planning & warrant submissions are made by competent professionals with appropriate qualifications (ARB, RIAS, CIAT etc) & PI, in a similar manner to the minimum criteria for an engineers SER. This would close the door on back street design & build contractors and the 'It's a homer, I don't sign the application' culture. Hopefully, design quality would improve as well.
#9 Posted by ica on 30 Apr 2014 at 17:09 PM
I agree with the above comments.

Assuming CRGP were not the original architects it is a shame the clients did not think about using an architect in the first place! I have walked away from clients before who want to ignore the Planning system.
Rem Koolbag
#10 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 1 May 2014 at 09:52 AM
Come on then UR - any update here?

Why don't you have an updated picture with the flattened site, being scraped over by the Briggs numpties for the marble tiles and candle holders?
Walt Disney
#11 Posted by Walt Disney on 1 May 2014 at 16:55 PM
Certainly s lot of design snobbery being exhibited here by ARB, RIBA ACIAT contributors. Any wonder that Joe Bloggs sees architects as a self serving bunch who are excellent at spending other people's money and not giving them what they want. Notwithstanding, the poor guy has made some very bad decisions with choice of contractor and designer and is paying the hefty price. At least he'll still have a £160k site.
Rem Koolbag
#12 Posted by Rem Koolbag on 1 May 2014 at 22:43 PM
Where is the snobbery Walt?

I see some concern for how/why a frankly ludicrous situation has come to pass and questions of involvement or lack thereof of an architect.

Is 'qualified' a dirty word to non-architects?
Ian Nairn Jr
#13 Posted by Ian Nairn Jr on 2 May 2014 at 09:00 AM
Having looked at the application history online it appears there was no agent with the original application (ref TP/ED/06/1401), 'qualified' or otherwise. Notwithstanding that, the original site owners (different from current owner it would seem) successfully obtained planning consent for the original house. Somehow the constructed house differed dramatically from that approved, and the owner blames the contractor. This would hopefully have been avoided if there had been inspections by a construction professional. I'm guessing the current architects were employed by the new site owner to apply for planning consent retrospectively when the LA got wind of what had been built.
Interestingly (while talking of inspections by construction professionals) there doesnt appear to be a Building Warrant (other than that for the demolition of an existing house) - if there had been, Building Standards may have flagged up this discrepancy either at application stage or on site.
It seems obvious that you should not start work on site before having Planning Permission & Building Warrant in place, but it's amazing how many do.
#14 Posted by Jimbo on 2 May 2014 at 09:11 AM
I note no mention of MRTPI in the list of qualifications banded about above: this all reeks of a lack of understanding (or flagrant disregard) of the requirements of the planning system. I'm surprised such a well off international tennis superstar didn't pay for proper planning advice... A lot of pain could have been avoided with some honest, experienced and well informed advice.
Kenny Kitchens
#15 Posted by Kenny Kitchens on 2 May 2014 at 12:20 PM
Mr Walt Disney ?
I assume you're a Mickey Mouse designer then ?

#16 Posted by PR on 2 May 2014 at 15:44 PM
#14 Jimbo -
p.s. you do realise it's not the actual tennis playing superstar but just his namesnake
Jimbob Tanktop
#17 Posted by Jimbob Tanktop on 2 May 2014 at 17:39 PM
PR - It is actually Andy Murray, international tennis superstar. I always seem to be be behind him when he's having bother with the self-service machines at Morrisons.
#18 Posted by Jimbo on 2 May 2014 at 19:06 PM
No it really is Andy Murray; he had to raise the ceiling height upstairs because he's really tall.
Ian Nairn Jr
#19 Posted by Ian Nairn Jr on 22 May 2014 at 19:06 PM
As a follow-up, the house has now been demolished:
Compare the retrospective application drawings pictured with the street elevation of the house - nice try CRGP!

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