Sunday, 20 August 2017

Permission for three bungalows refused

A PLAN to demolish a bungalow in Sonning Common and replace it with three new ones has been rejected.

A PLAN to demolish a bungalow in Sonning Common and replace it with three new ones has been rejected.

South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning committee refused an application made by Henley company Fieldgate Properties to develop the land off Baskerville Road.

The plan had been opposed by neighbours and recommended for refusal by Sonning Common Parish Council.

Adrian Duffield, head of planning at the district council, said: “The siting, size, height and bulk of the dwellings would result in a form of backland development that would fail to respect the established character and appearance of the site and the surrounding area.”

He said the development would have an “overbearing” effect and cause noise and disturbance to neighbours.

The committee heard from objectors including Leonie Barford, who spoke on behalf of 10 residents of Baskerville Road and Green Lane.

She said the new properties would overlook their homes, creating a loss of privacy, and they would be out of keeping with existing buildings.

Barrie Greenwood, who chairs the parish council’s planning committee, said: “Sonning Common Parish Council is strongly opposed to the proposed development.

“If approved, this high- density back garden development — equivalent to 23 houses per hectare — will be intrusive and out of character with surrounding established residential areas of Green Lane and Baskerville Road which have a much lower density. We believe this would set a dangerous precedent.”

Councillor Mike Welpy (Thame North) said: “It is a very nice piece of land and I don’t dispute that the owners want to flog it and make a bit of money on the side, which is their prerogative.

“However, the balance of amenity in that particular village would be spoiled by this backland development.

“I know people don’t have a right to privacy nor a view, however we have got to think of balance and character here and I do think it is over- development of this site.

But Councillor Elizabeth Gillespie (Garsington) urged that the application be approved, saying similar applications had been approved previously.

“I don’t think we can win on appeal bearing in mind this fact,” she said.

The committee refused the application by seven votes to four.

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