Monday 26 September 2016

'Pimp my truck' - Man living in converted lorry in mother's garden ordered to remove it

Matthew Cooper

Published 20/04/2016 | 21:44

Iftikhar Azam inside the trailer outside his mother's home in Sheldon, Birmingham. Matthew Cooper/PA Wire
Iftikhar Azam inside the trailer outside his mother's home in Sheldon, Birmingham. Matthew Cooper/PA Wire
The lorry trailer belonging to Iftikhar Azam outside his mother's home in Sheldon, Birmingham which has been fitted out as living accommodation. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday April 20, 2016. Matthew Cooper/PA Wire
The lorry trailer belonging to Iftikhar Azam outside his mother's home in Sheldon, Birmingham which has been fitted out as living accommodation. Matthew Cooper/PA Wire
The lorry trailer belonging to Iftikhar Azam outside his mother's home in Sheldon, Birmingham which has been fitted out as living accommodation. Matthew Cooper/PA Wire
Iftikhar Azam outside his mother's home in Sheldon, Birmingham where he parked a lorry trailer fitted out as living accommodation. Matthew Cooper/PA Wire

The owner of a lorry trailer has been ordered to remove it from his mother's front garden - after the "smack in the face" eyesore attracted hundreds of complaints.

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The former Marks and Spencer delivery wagon was backed onto the frontage of a house in Sheldon, Birmingham, in January and has not moved since.

The 18-year-old refrigerated unit, fitted out as living accommodation with double-glazed doors, white goods and a bathroom, has been put up for sale by its owner, Iftikhar Azam.

Mr Azam, who is looking for offers around £2,000, told the Press Association he lived in the trailer for around two years at a site near a car wash yard in Digbeth, Birmingham, while between houses.

The lorry trailer belonging to Iftikhar Azam outside his mother's home in Sheldon, Birmingham which has been fitted out as living accommodation. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday April 20, 2016. Matthew Cooper/PA Wire
The lorry trailer belonging to Iftikhar Azam outside his mother's home in Sheldon, Birmingham which has been fitted out as living accommodation. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday April 20, 2016. Matthew Cooper/PA Wire

The 43-year-old said: "It wasn't meant to be here this long as I had a buyer for it, but he lost interest.

"Obviously I want to sell it because if the council move it for me they will put a legal charge on the property."

The lorry trailer belonging to Iftikhar Azam outside his mother's home in Sheldon, Birmingham which has been fitted out as living accommodation. Matthew Cooper/PA Wire
The lorry trailer belonging to Iftikhar Azam outside his mother's home in Sheldon, Birmingham which has been fitted out as living accommodation. Matthew Cooper/PA Wire

Asked what it was like to live in the 40ft trailer, the construction site manager replied: "It's like a spaceship - it's functional and it does the job."

Birmingham City Council is threatening to issue an enforcement notice after an official request for the trailer to be moved from the house in Brays Road was not complied with.

The lorry trailer belonging to Iftikhar Azam outside his mother's home in Sheldon, Birmingham which has been fitted out as living accommodation. Matthew Cooper/PA Wire
The lorry trailer belonging to Iftikhar Azam outside his mother's home in Sheldon, Birmingham which has been fitted out as living accommodation. Matthew Cooper/PA Wire

The former deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, Paul Tilsley, has likened the trailer's visual impact to "a smack in the face".

His Liberal Democrat colleague, Councillor Sue Anderson, describes the trailer as the worst eyesore she has encountered in 26 years of public service.

Iftikhar Azam outside his mother's home in Sheldon, Birmingham where he parked a lorry trailer fitted out as living accommodation. Matthew Cooper/PA Wire
Iftikhar Azam outside his mother's home in Sheldon, Birmingham where he parked a lorry trailer fitted out as living accommodation. Matthew Cooper/PA Wire

"When it first arrived I reported it to planning," Cllr Anderson said. "Obviously no-one would get planning permission for something like this, and planning officers have visited the house and said it's got to be moved.

"Local people are up in arms and they want it to go."

Speaking near the scene, Cllr Anderson added: "I will be out here with a bottle of champagne when it goes and residents are welcome to come and join me.

"People are very proud of this area - it's an old community - and they want to keep Sheldon pristine, tidy and a place to be proud of."

A city council spokesman said: "A complaint was received in February and following an investigation by a senior enforcement officer, we wrote to the householder, requesting that the unauthorised container be removed within 28 days.

"Despite an extension to the deadline being granted at the request of the householder, the container has still not been removed.

"The council is now considering further action, which may include serving an enforcement notice."

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