Dad dialled 999 and was told his flat ‘did not exist’

Dad Brendon Mulkerrin realised that his Sheffield flat had no planning permission to exist - when an ambulance could not find him after he called 999.
Dad Brendon Mulkerrin realised that his Sheffield flat had no planning permission to exist - when an ambulance could not find him after he called 999.

A Sheffield dad discovered his rented flat had no planning permission after dialling 999 – and being told by puzzled ambulance operators that his address did not exist.

Brendon Mulkerrin, aged 41, said he called for an ambulance after suffering ‘severe pain’ in his abdomen while at home one evening.

But when he gave his address on City Road – baffled telephone operators told him the flat did not exist.

Brendon said: “I was baffled that my flat didn’t exist, according to their system – I’d been living there for over a year.

“I was in agony. To be told the ambulance couldn’t find me was just terrifying.”

He added: “My greatest fear, though, was what if my daughter had been staying with me at the time. What if she needed urgent medical attention?

“If it had been a life-and-death situation for my then one-year-old daughter, Grace, then I dread to think what would have happened.”

Luckily, Brendon’s pain subsided after half an hour and he told ambulance control that paramedics could give up their hunt.

Brendon said he went to hospital the following day and was admitted with suspected gall bladder stones.

After taking things up with Sheffield Council’s planning department, Brendon was told the flats did not have planning permission.

Brendon is now speaking out on the issue for fear it could result in a death.

A council spokesman said following an internal enquiry it was discovered that no change of use had been granted to turn the former dentist into residential flats.

They said the owner submitted a retrospective planning application, which was granted in December. No action is being taken against the owner.

The spokesman said: “The change of the use... only becomes an offence when the planning authority serve an enforcement notice and it is not complied with. In this case no notice was served as the owner submitted an application to regularise the use.”