Small wooden house in Leyton must be torn down within three months

The 'narrowest house in London'

The 'narrowest house in London'

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A tiny wooden house dubbed the 'narrowest in London' is set to be torn down after its owner lost a legal challenge.

Building work on the unusual property in Manor Road, Leyton, began in May last year.

Neighbours told the Guardian at the time they were ‘very concerned’ for the safety of people living in the home.

Waltham Forest Council soon ordered the building work to stop on site, which used to be a garage, as planning permission had not been granted.

The authority later ordered the structure to be teared down, but the owner, a Mr Akhlaq of Zim Properties, in High Road, Leyton, appealed against the decision and the matter was handed to the Planning Inspectorate.

But the appeal was dismissed and the owner, named as Mr  has been given three months to tear it down or face further action.

Planning Inspector Ian Currie ordered Zim Properties to pay the council's legal costs after deciding the appeal was unreasonable.

In his ruling, he said: "I do not consider that the structure erected alongside 105 Manor Road is of a high standard of design, as required by Policy DM30.

"It is much narrower than the terrace houses it adjoins, giving it a pinched appearance, it finished in wood rather than brick and it has flat roof, unlike its neighbours with their pitched roofs.

"Overall, it looks singularly out of place, in an area that has maintained its late nineteenth/early twentieth century character remarkably intact, and I conclude that the design of the structure is wholly unsatisfactory."
 

Comments (13)

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2:39pm Wed 7 May 14

Villagecranberry says...

Quite right too. Purely for money and turning the area into a slum shanty town.
Quite right too. Purely for money and turning the area into a slum shanty town. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 31

3:19pm Wed 7 May 14

anothere17reader says...

Does the very similar (albeit less shoddy looking) one on Exmouth Road have permission?
Does the very similar (albeit less shoddy looking) one on Exmouth Road have permission? anothere17reader
  • Score: 26

3:33pm Wed 7 May 14

myopinioncounts says...

Why has it taken so long and WHY has he still been given THREE MONTHS to demolish it? I hope the authorities have ensured that no-one is living in the building while all this is going on.
Why has it taken so long and WHY has he still been given THREE MONTHS to demolish it? I hope the authorities have ensured that no-one is living in the building while all this is going on. myopinioncounts
  • Score: 26

6:44pm Wed 7 May 14

mdj says...

I nearly bought this house 28 years ago, attracted by the convenience of having a two-storey workshop directly next door. It was probably always too narrow to be a garage, even in 1910.
It would be a shame to see this amenity go - not the shanty, obviously!

Many of our streets had these little workplaces dotted between the houses, with a builder's yard, corner shop, pub or stable every fifty yards or so. They have many social and Green arguments in their favour, enabling residential streets to remain alive during the day, making the difference between a village and a dormitory.
Imagine the host of problems that would be reduced if only 20% of our commuters could work this close to home!
If planning policy were zoned according to nuisance rather than activity, this way of life could return.
I nearly bought this house 28 years ago, attracted by the convenience of having a two-storey workshop directly next door. It was probably always too narrow to be a garage, even in 1910. It would be a shame to see this amenity go - not the shanty, obviously! Many of our streets had these little workplaces dotted between the houses, with a builder's yard, corner shop, pub or stable every fifty yards or so. They have many social and Green arguments in their favour, enabling residential streets to remain alive during the day, making the difference between a village and a dormitory. Imagine the host of problems that would be reduced if only 20% of our commuters could work this close to home! If planning policy were zoned according to nuisance rather than activity, this way of life could return. mdj
  • Score: 12

7:33pm Wed 7 May 14

sappho_ says...

"Teared down" ... ooof, that's embarrassing.
"Teared down" ... ooof, that's embarrassing. sappho_
  • Score: 19

8:17pm Wed 7 May 14

cynicalsue says...

myopinioncounts wrote:
Why has it taken so long and WHY has he still been given THREE MONTHS to demolish it? I hope the authorities have ensured that no-one is living in the building while all this is going on.
Surprised it hasn't fallen down of its own accord in that time!
[quote][p][bold]myopinioncounts[/bold] wrote: Why has it taken so long and WHY has he still been given THREE MONTHS to demolish it? I hope the authorities have ensured that no-one is living in the building while all this is going on.[/p][/quote]Surprised it hasn't fallen down of its own accord in that time! cynicalsue
  • Score: 9

12:47am Thu 8 May 14

Villagecranberry says...

mdj wrote:
I nearly bought this house 28 years ago, attracted by the convenience of having a two-storey workshop directly next door. It was probably always too narrow to be a garage, even in 1910.
It would be a shame to see this amenity go - not the shanty, obviously!

Many of our streets had these little workplaces dotted between the houses, with a builder's yard, corner shop, pub or stable every fifty yards or so. They have many social and Green arguments in their favour, enabling residential streets to remain alive during the day, making the difference between a village and a dormitory.
Imagine the host of problems that would be reduced if only 20% of our commuters could work this close to home!
If planning policy were zoned according to nuisance rather than activity, this way of life could return.
Good points.
[quote][p][bold]mdj[/bold] wrote: I nearly bought this house 28 years ago, attracted by the convenience of having a two-storey workshop directly next door. It was probably always too narrow to be a garage, even in 1910. It would be a shame to see this amenity go - not the shanty, obviously! Many of our streets had these little workplaces dotted between the houses, with a builder's yard, corner shop, pub or stable every fifty yards or so. They have many social and Green arguments in their favour, enabling residential streets to remain alive during the day, making the difference between a village and a dormitory. Imagine the host of problems that would be reduced if only 20% of our commuters could work this close to home! If planning policy were zoned according to nuisance rather than activity, this way of life could return.[/p][/quote]Good points. Villagecranberry
  • Score: 7

12:16pm Thu 8 May 14

NDevoto says...

myopinioncounts wrote:
Why has it taken so long and WHY has he still been given THREE MONTHS to demolish it? I hope the authorities have ensured that no-one is living in the building while all this is going on.
It takes that long for the Council to get someone round to blow on it.
[quote][p][bold]myopinioncounts[/bold] wrote: Why has it taken so long and WHY has he still been given THREE MONTHS to demolish it? I hope the authorities have ensured that no-one is living in the building while all this is going on.[/p][/quote]It takes that long for the Council to get someone round to blow on it. NDevoto
  • Score: 11

8:11pm Thu 8 May 14

escapefrome17 says...

I don't know why they're calling it Londons narrowest house- the journalist here clearly doesn't know the borough!
There's a house of a similar width in Blenheim Road in Walthamstow, and it's a proper brick-built one, been there as long as I can remember, next to a slightly wider one, but the two of them barely make up a standar width.
I don't know why they're calling it Londons narrowest house- the journalist here clearly doesn't know the borough! There's a house of a similar width in Blenheim Road in Walthamstow, and it's a proper brick-built one, been there as long as I can remember, next to a slightly wider one, but the two of them barely make up a standar width. escapefrome17
  • Score: 3

9:02pm Thu 8 May 14

LakeBreeze says...

I too know of yet another, made of brick, in Redbridge.
I too know of yet another, made of brick, in Redbridge. LakeBreeze
  • Score: 3

3:35pm Fri 9 May 14

fabster says...

It's not the narrowness of the property that is the issue per se. After all the skinny blue glass house on Church Path is pretty iconic, inside and out. With good architectural considerations & clever design, compact solutions can, and should be, encouraged. But certainly this isn't good design and needs to be ripped down. That it has taken so long sends a message that shoddy landlords and developers can build first then worry later. So credit for enforcement is due. I do hope however that slimline properties shouldn't be ruled out by default on the basis of this shambolic example. Tokyo is one such city where compact living & ingenious architecture pushes the boundaries to find solutions for urban living.
It's not the narrowness of the property that is the issue per se. After all the skinny blue glass house on Church Path is pretty iconic, inside and out. With good architectural considerations & clever design, compact solutions can, and should be, encouraged. But certainly this isn't good design and needs to be ripped down. That it has taken so long sends a message that shoddy landlords and developers can build first then worry later. So credit for enforcement is due. I do hope however that slimline properties shouldn't be ruled out by default on the basis of this shambolic example. Tokyo is one such city where compact living & ingenious architecture pushes the boundaries to find solutions for urban living. fabster
  • Score: 8

10:43pm Fri 9 May 14

Villagecranberry says...

LakeBreeze wrote:
I too know of yet another, made of brick, in Redbridge.
My aunt has a blue blouse, which is as relevant to this article as your ridiculous comment.
[quote][p][bold]LakeBreeze[/bold] wrote: I too know of yet another, made of brick, in Redbridge.[/p][/quote]My aunt has a blue blouse, which is as relevant to this article as your ridiculous comment. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -11

1:49pm Sun 11 May 14

LakeBreeze says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
LakeBreeze wrote:
I too know of yet another, made of brick, in Redbridge.
My aunt has a blue blouse, which is as relevant to this article as your ridiculous comment.
Oh really?

How, exactly is my comment not relevant to this article?

The article is reporting on "London's narrowest house".

Other readers here began to comment that the title alone is rubbish, as there are other houses they personally know of that are of the same nature as the house in the article, that is, a narrow house obviously squeezed into a space between houses, which was never intended to have another living space built into it.

A handful of people mentioned the ones they know.

I mentioned the one I know of.

That's relevant, you ignorant fool. You're the laughing stock of these comment sections, so a random attack on me is the irrelevant thing here, pal.

Now go run and play in some traffic. And don't bother trying to involve me in a back-and-forth argument with you -- I have better things to do with my time, unlike you.

.
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LakeBreeze[/bold] wrote: I too know of yet another, made of brick, in Redbridge.[/p][/quote]My aunt has a blue blouse, which is as relevant to this article as your ridiculous comment.[/p][/quote]Oh really? How, exactly is my comment not relevant to this article? The article is reporting on "London's narrowest house". Other readers here began to comment that the title alone is rubbish, as there are other houses they personally know of that are of the same nature as the house in the article, that is, a narrow house obviously squeezed into a space between houses, which was never intended to have another living space built into it. A handful of people mentioned the ones they know. I mentioned the one I know of. That's relevant, you ignorant fool. You're the laughing stock of these comment sections, so a random attack on me is the irrelevant thing here, pal. Now go run and play in some traffic. And don't bother trying to involve me in a back-and-forth argument with you -- I have better things to do with my time, unlike you. . LakeBreeze
  • Score: 6

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