A FARM owner who built a new house on his land without planning permission has been told to remove it and restore the site to its former condition.

Building work on the five-bedroom home began during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and the property was completed in December 2021.

However, Gareth Wilson, who lives on site at Tennox Farm, did not submit a formal planning application for the development until a local authority enforcement order required him to do so in March 2022.

North Ayrshire Council's planning department then refused the application in July last year - before the council's local review body dismissed an appeal by Mr Wilson to overturn the decision, meaning the development remains unauthorised.

At a meeting of the council's planning committee last month, councillors agreed to serve a further notice "requiring the removal of the unauthorised dwellinghouse, associated outbuildings and ancillary works... and the restoration of the land to its former condition prior to the development taking place".

Retrospective permission was denied for the new house at Tennox Farm, between Kilbirnie and Dalry, as council planning officers deemed there was no need for it at the site and its design was "not considered exceptional or bespoke", in line with local development policies.

READ MORE: Coal Authority finds farm house built without consent 'may be at risk of collapse'

The Coal Authority also found that the L-shaped building “may be at significant risk of collapse” as mines had been located under the site.

A handling report explaining the previous decision said: “In conclusion, it is not considered that the application site constitutes a gap site, and given the potential risks to ground stability, it may not be an appropriate location even if it were.”

A report for the February 22 meeting of the planning committee stated: "The council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) supports housing in the countryside only in exceptional circumstances.

"As noted, Tennox Farm is within a rural area of North Ayrshire. The impact of the unauthorised development of a dwellinghouse, outbuildings and ancillary development on the land is considered to be harmful to the amenity of the countryside, and contrary to the LDP."

Mr Wilson, who has a right to appeal the latest notice to Scottish Ministers, will be given six months to comply with its terms.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Gareth Wilson's vintage vehicle collectionGareth Wilson's vintage vehicle collection

In a separate development, he applied at the start of February for retrospective permission to change the use of agricultural land at the farm to form a yard, as well as the erection of an additional storage shed on the site.

One public objection has been received to the plans, claiming that the site is "already over developed" and the proposal "further contributes to the spread of sporadic and unplanned development around Tennox Farm".

Mr Wilson is seeking to use the proposed new storage shed to "house his growing collection of vintage vehicles and agricultural machinery", according to a supporting document.