An extension to a building with restaurant and flats was "poorly thought out" and will need to be rebuilt, a planning inspector has ruled. 

The owner of 149 Hatfield Road, in Fleetville, St Albans - which consists of the Oasis restaurant - will also have to take out an extractor attached to a wall because it does not have planning permission. 

In July 2013, St Albans City and District Council gave planning permission for four one-bedroom flats above the restaurant which serves Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.

However, this was not done according to the plans with the main difference being a larger, more prominent roof and wall. 

The council issued an enforcement notice in April last year ordering owner Maroof Khan to rebuild the extension and to remove the extractor.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Mr Khan appealed against the notice on various grounds.

But planning inspector Simon Hand upheld the decision by the council and gave Mr Khan a year to carry out the necessary works.

Mr Hand said the unapproved design was “poorly thought out” and harmed the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

He also refused Mr Khan’s application for the council to pay the costs he had incurred in making the appeal.

Mr Hand said in his written judgement that the roof and a new wall facing Sandfield Road had become “a dominant feature in the streetscape”. 

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The new designs were “crude, oddly-shaped” and larger than the original plans which would have had less impact, he wrote.

The inspector noted the extractor for the ground floor restaurant was leaving soot smears on a wall and may be environmentally harmful.

He added the approved design for the extension was flawed in that it produced flats with very low ceilings.

St Albans councillor Jamie Day, portfolio holder for planning, said: “We’re pleased that the inspector has upheld our enforcement notice and dismissed this appeal. 

“We’re also delighted that he has dismissed an application for us to pay the property owner’s costs.

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“The unapproved designs upset many residents in the neighbourhood and there were also complaints about noise and smells from the rogue extraction equipment.

“These views were strongly supported by the Inspector who described the building work as crude and damaging to the area’s appearance. He also voiced concerns about the extractor.

“This case demonstrates our commitment to ensuring the planning permissions that we grant are complied with. It shows we will take robust action against those in breach of them.

“We will follow up on the inspector’s suggestion to have talks with the owner to see if any changes to the original design can be agreed.”