Monday, 21 August 2017

Disabled man under fire over new home plan

A DISABLED man has been criticised for wanting to demolish his riverside home and replace it with a bigger one.

A DISABLED man has been criticised for wanting to demolish his riverside home and replace it with a bigger one.

Jeffrey Gosling, who is confined to a wheelchair, wants to have more space but neighbours in Loddon Drive, Wargrave, have objected.

He is seeking planning permission to knock down the existing property and build a three-bedroom house with a garage, wet dock, disabled ramps and extra wide doorways. He also wants to clear the Wargrave Court Backwater, which is blocked.

The new house would be twice the size of the existing one.

Mr Gosling said: “It is generally of poor quality construction and appears way too small for its plot.

“The overall scale of the proposed house is comparable with other houses in the area. The existing house does nothing to complement the area.”

Five letters of objection have been sent to Wokingham Borough Council.

The complainants say the new house would look like a hotel and would be too big.

They also claim that Mr Gosling intends to divide the area in two by realigning the backwater through the plot, which could lead to further development.

Gavin and Jean Dunbar, of Loddon Drive, said: “This application seems to be an attempt to split the site into two parts.

“This should be strongly resisted as the infrastructure and single lane road that is Loddon Drive is already becoming troublesome to negotiate due to traffic.

“We have to accept that it is reasonable to expect a building to be constructed on the whole site to replace the existing shacks but any increase in footprint should be conditional not only on the demolition of the existing building but also of the summerhouse complex.”

Sir Ian Prosser, of Loddon Drive, said he was concerned about the future of the site.

John Skuse, Middle Thames chairman for the River Thames Society, and David Robertson, of Loddon Drive, both objected to the size of the proposed house.

Roger and Gail Harman, who live in Mill Lane, Shiplake, directly opposite the site, said: “A similar design applied for by our next-door neighbours was refused as being possibly distracting to walkers along the footpath. We wish to object as this design would be ‘distracting’ for us and actually very intrusive.”

Concerns were also raised at a meeting of Wargrave Parish Council last week. Philip Meadowcroft, founder of the Wargrave Court Backwater Clearance Project, told councillors that while he welcomed the intention to clear Wargrave Court Backwater, he opposed the application.

He said: “The only purpose to be deduced from this is for the rerouted backwater to create a boundary line separating the watershed property from the summerhouse to create a second development site.”

Kim Potter, chairwoman of Loddon Residents, said it could see the “potential” of the site but opposed the plans due to the impact on the surrounding area.

Councillor Tim Jones said: “What’s proposed is an enormous structure compared with what’s been there previously. It looks almost like a hotel.”

Councillor Andy Luckwell added: “It would have a detrimental effect on the countryside. If it’s to be approved we want conditions to prevent the summerhouse being put through as ancillary to the main building.”

The parish council voted to recommend the application is refused due to its size and said the site should be kept as one plot.

The corough council will make the final decision by the end of the month.

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