Shed and done: Boris Johnson forced to pull down illegal summer house

London mayor takes down summer house built on balcony of his Islington home following complaints that it was erected without planning permission

Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, faced embarrassment today after it emerged he has taken down a wooden shed he built on the balcony of his home following complaints to his local council.

As mayor, Johnson is in charge of planning issues in the capital. But he appears to have overlooked the rules when he erected the shed on a first floor balcony at his home in Islington more than two weeks ago.

Neighbours complained that it was an "eyesore" and that it should not have been put up at his Georgian house, which is a Grade II listed building, without planning permission.

"It's totally at odds with the area, a complete monstrosity. What's more, it was done without any consideration or thought for the neighbours," one resident told the Daily Mirror.

Another neighbour quoted in the Mirror described seeing Johnson working late into the night at his five-storey house to remove the wooden shed after Islington council told him to take it down.

"I walked past Boris's place with my dogs at about 11pm and it was a hive of activity. Boris was stood there in floral shorts looking flustered [with others] and they all had power tools at the ready.

"Work carried on through the night until there was no sign that the thing had ever been there. He must have panicked as he would know that it does not look good for the mayor of London to have such a blatant disregard for the law," the neighbour said.

Islington council said that the shed required planning permission because it was attached to a listed buildings. "Planning enforcement officers asked Mr Johnson to remove it," a spokesman said.

A spokesman for the Johnson said today: "The mayor is grateful to Islington council for their advice on this matter. The shed has been taken down."


Andrew Sparrow, senior political correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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