RESIDENTS are claiming they were misled after being sold penthouse apartments in a luxury office conversion only to find a new home is to be created above them.
Barney McElholm has been granted planning permission to create a two bedroomed apartment within the roof space of Ipsley Manor – formerly part of the Law Society offices – off Berrington Close.
The building was converted to 38 apartments over three floors towards the start of last year and another was added later with the conversion of a small detached building close to the site.
The latest proposal was sparked by the discovery of space within the roof due to the removal of a water tank previously used in connection with the old offices.
But the idea was fiercely opposed by residents already living within the building on the grounds it would cause noise to those living below and add to parking problems in the area.
And at a Redditch Borough Council planning committee meeting last Wednesday residents claimed the development would mean they were no longer living in the properties they thought they had bought.
Hazel Hill, who moved into one of the top floor apartments in September last year, said when buying the property they were not told of any plans to convert the roof space.
“Our floor was promoted as top floor apartments and chosen on that basis.” she said.
“Many residents who purchased apartments on the top floor feel misled.”
Donna Savage, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said there was no conspiracy as they had never intended to convert the roof space and only realised the opportunity was there much later after the water tank was removed.
“It would have been much easier to do this before residents moved in.”
Planners had recommended granting approval as the plan did not harm the character of the building. And although councillors had sympathy with the residents’ argument they said it was a matter they would have to pursue through the civil courts.
Councillor Yvonne Smith said: “People here all feel greatly for the residents but we can’t find a material consideration to reject planning permission so we are in the position of having to grant.”