A west Suffolk man who has been faced with the prospect of becoming homeless amid an ongoing planning row with a council has said the last eight years have been 'hell'.

Tony Edgar currently lives in Stanley Lodge, a bungalow off Fen Road in Pakenham, which he said he built under permitted development as an outbuilding for his former home, Newbury, back in 2010. 

After suffering a stroke in 2014, and losing his wife just two years later, Mr Edgar, a former builder who is now unable to work, said he moved into Stanley Lodge after he opted to rent and eventually sell Newbury, in 2020.

Now, Mr Edgar has been faced with enforcement action, meaning he could be made to leave the property, as Stanley Lodge has not been permitted for independent residential use.

A West Suffolk Council spokesperson said enforcement officers visited the site in 2010 and numerous times after, warning Mr Edgar that the building was not to be used as a home.

East Anglian Daily Times: Stanley Lodge in PakenhamStanley Lodge in Pakenham (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Mr Edgar said: "I really feel like I am being bullied by the council.

"I have managed to keep a roof over my head this whole time by keeping this bungalow.

"It is very difficult when you have got limited funds and I can't do a lot of work because of my conditions.

"I have gone through hell in the last eight years. This bungalow, it is my last straw," he added.

Mr Edgar said he was granted outline approval to build a home elsewhere on his plot of land, but that this is not a viable option as he cannot afford to do so.

He said he instead wants the permission for this potential home to be allowed on Stanley Lodge.

However, an application for continued use of the bungalow as a dwelling was refused by West Suffolk Council on February 9. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Tony Edgar pictured beside the garage which he was given permission to build in July 2023Tony Edgar pictured beside the garage which he was given permission to build in July 2023 (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Mr Edgar said: "There is no way I can build another house, I just don't have the money.

"I would like to stay where I am and use the permission on the ground for this house."

West Suffolk Council approved permission for a garage next to the property in July 2023. 

An appeal against the enforcement notice is currently with an independent Planning Inspector.

A spokesperson for West Suffolk Council, said: “We are sympathetic to the applicant’s personal situation, however we cannot take personal circumstance into consideration when determining a planning application, and the independent Planning Inspector is now proceeding with their appeal in regards to the enforcement notice.

"Enforcement officers visited the site in 2010 and numerous times afterwards. The building was originally constructed as an outbuilding and the owner was warned several times that it could not be used for independent residential use.

East Anglian Daily Times: Tony Edgar standing on the rest of the plot he ownsTony Edgar standing on the rest of the plot he owns (Image: Charlotte Bond)

"Once it was clear in 2019 it was being used as a separate residence without planning permission an investigation followed and an enforcement notice was issued.

"An application to retain the building as a separate dwelling was recently refused.

"West Suffolk Council, as the Local Planning Authority is legally required to follow local development management policies and national planning policy framework.

"Due to the fact it is now going through the legal process of a planning appeal the Council cannot comment further and the matter will be determined by the Planning Inspectorate."