Two self-made billionaire brothers have embarked on controversial building work to create five identical 'super-sized' homes which have been described as 'objectionable' and 'monstrous'.
Mohsin and Zuber Issa (pictured), both in their 40s, who own Europe's biggest independent forecourt firm Euro Garages, will proceed with their buildings, which have been dubbed 'McMansions', after overcoming a string of complaints from protesters.
Despite the fierce opposition, which saw the council face 30 letters of complaint, eight old houses on the site in Blackburn, Lancashire, have now been demolished and builders have laid foundations for the five 5,000 sq ft mansions. Plans for the large houses, which are located on a quiet rural road outside Blackburn where houses sell for up to £1 million, were lodged in April 2018.
Nowadays the entrepreneurial pair, who have an estimated worth of more than £1billion, oversee Euro Garages, which is the EU's largest independent fuel retailer with annual sales of £5bn.
Their Blackburn building plans, which were approved in September last year, were met with fierce opposition by local residents, who said the enormous houses would ruin the character of the area.
Protesters at an earlier planning application meeting claimed the plans fell foul of the council's local plan, as well as the government's national planning policy framework.
The identical builds, which sit just three miles from where the Issa brothers grew up in a two-up two-down terraced house, have been described as 'not in fitting with the local area' as the homes stand over over 4.5 metres taller with 1,500 square metres of floor space.
Speaking last year, local resident of 50 years Ian Woolley, said the mansions were 'objectionable' and 'monstrous'. The Blackburn-born Issa brothers are among the richest families in the UK and own petrol stations and convenience stores across the world.