Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Approval given to new house fit for ‘hobbit’

A HOUSE described as being only fit for a “hobbit” has been granted planning permission.

A HOUSE described as being only fit for a “hobbit” has been granted planning permission.

The two-storey, three-bedroom house will take the place of a double garage in Cromwell Road, Henley.

Matthew Stroud, from High Wycombe, was granted permission by South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning committee, despite objections by neighbours and the town council, after hearing that outline planning consent had been granted in 2010.

Councillor Mike Welpy (Thame North) said: “We have had a rash of these little houses being shoved into unseemly plots. I don’t know whether the architect has read Tolkien or something but this looks like a hobbit house, probably a tall thin hobbit — it really does look absolutely ghastly to me. We have examples in my town where planning permission has been given for similar developments which in my view opens a barn door for all sorts of what I call primeval developments being slipped in around our market towns.”

Nick Walden, who lives in Cromwell Road, objected on behalf of neighbours, saying: “It is overdevelopment of a cramped site.

“We all recognise the need for more housing, and particularly affordable housing, in Henley and we acknowledge that infill has a part to play in this... but this application is a step too far and I believe will set a bad precedent.”

Henley town councillor Laila Meachin said: “We feel the application is unneighbourly and out of keeping with the street scene. It’s overdevelopment of a very narrow plot which was originally intended just for garages. The plot is only seven metres wide.”

Town and district councillor Jeni Wood said: “Yes, we do need smaller houses in Henley but not this small and certainly not shoe-horned in like this.”

Councillor John Cotton (Sandford) said the committee had no choice but to approve the application in light of the outline permission.

Councillor Elizabeth Gillespie (Garsington) added: “The principle of development has been established. There are no planning reasons to turn it down.”

The committee approved the application by six votes to five.

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