NEIGHBOURS have lost their fight to stop a detached house in Watlington being converted into two semi-detached homes.
The building in Hill Road will be extended to become two four-bedroom homes, each with its own vehicular access, after being granted planning permission by South Oxfordshire District Council.
Fourteen neighbours had written letters of objection and several attended a meeting of the council’s planning committee to outline their concerns.
The objectors said the conversion would alter the character of the road, which is known for its large detached houses.
Francesca and Robin Holmes-Smith said: “Hill Road is the only road in Watlington of its type. Its housing stock is exclusively detached houses, set back from the road and with provision for parking.
“We believe this unique road should have its status preserved, as it is the only truly desirable and aspirational address in Watlington. There are plenty of semi-detached and terraced houses on streets and roads around the town, all of which provide perfectly attractive housing.”
John Monks said: “Hill Road is characterised by single-occupancy, individual properties that create an individual charm that contributes to the overall character of Watlington.
“Hill Road has been subject to continued permitted development, over many years, all of which has been underpinned by the commitment of the planning process to maintain this character by restricting properties to single occupancy.”
Watlington Parish Council had recommended the application was approved.
Adrian Duffield, head of planning at the district council, said the development wouldn’t “materially harm the living conditions of neighbours or the character and appearance of the area”.