Pickles: Extension row such a shame.
THE minister responsible for planning law has waded into the row over Birmingham's most controversial home extension.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles insisted his policies were not to blame for the wrangle which left Gerard and Christine White's detached Moseley home sharing a gutter with the expanded property next door.
Mr Pickles expressed his sympathy to residents caught up planning wars.
But he insisted: "The legislation rules that there is a gap between houses.
"It is not meant to go up to the party wall.
"There is nothing more disagreeable than a disagreement between neighbours and I can understand the planning authority not wanting to get terribly involved.
"But we are very clear that extensions can go so far at the back and they can't go up to the party wall.
I am disappointed as our planning changes were always meant to bring neighbours closer together."
Mr Pickles spoke as he officially opened the new Two Snow Hill office block in Birmingham city centre.
It is the new headquarters for the HS2 scheme.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles at Two |Snow Hill, home of the HS2 construction scheme