Sunday, 22 September 2019

Neighbours face defeat in fight against new homes

FIVE new homes are set to be built in Peppard despite opposition from residents and the parish council.

Officers at South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, have recommended approving an application to develop a plot of land off Peppard Hill.

Vanita Kang wants to demolish an existing four-bedroom home and three outbuildings and replace them with two four-bedroom semi-detached homes and three terraced houses, each with either two or three bedrooms and its own garden.

There would be a total of 13 parking spaces for the two-storey homes.

None of the properties would be classed as “affordable” but Mrs Kang is not obliged to provide this as the scheme comprises fewer than 10 dwellings.

In 2017 she sought permission for six houses with up to five bedrooms but was forced to amend the proposal when planning officers objected.

They said the layout was cramped and it was an inefficient use of the space and there should be more houses with two, three or four bedrooms as there was greater demand for these. They were also concerned about the loss of trees and said the new gardens, featuring protected trees, would be overshadowed and covered by fallen leaves.

Now officers say Mrs Kang has addressed these issues but neighbours are still opposed to the development, saying it is excessive and the new properties would overlook theirs.

Andrew Morris, of Peppard Hill, said: “The plans are misrepresented to give the impression of better placement of the buildings.

“A large brick wall will be placed next to my property. One block will intrude on my privacy as the windows completely overlook my and my neighbours’ driveways.

“This is an inappropriate development as there are no other terraced properties in the area.

“One block will be built with north-facing gardens that will never see the light of day.

“Cars are shown as being parked the other side of a fence to my property and will cause noise and pollution to the bedrooms in my house. The five properties are likely to have 10 cars and this will potentially lead to accidents on a busy highway.

“A significant number of trees will be removed.”

Neighbour Michael Khan said: “This is overdevelopment of this site. It is not large enough to accommodate five incremental houses. The layout would adversely impact the sight lines from our property and the property next door.”

Andrew Tidswell, also of Peppard Hill, said: “This site has had applications for 10, then two, then six [houses] and now a further application that does not address the basic objections raised against all previous applications. Is this really a good use of South Oxfordshire District Council’s time and money?

“It is clear to anybody who might spend 30 minutes walking around the area that [this plan] is complete overdevelopment and totally out of keeping with the area.

“I would suggest that this plot can support a maximum of two to three properties.”

Parish clerk Joanne Askin told the district council that the scheme wouldn’t count as “infill” because smaller villages like Peppard don’t have formal housing targets.

She said terraced homes were out of keeping with the neighbouring detached houses and the proposed density was out of character with the surroundings.

Protected trees could be damaged during construction.

Mrs Askin said the development would add to traffic hazards and congestion at a “dangerous” junction.

She said: “This is yet another speculative application for inappropriate development on this site.

“Peppard Parish Council recommends refusal on the same grounds as those voiced with respect to the earlier applications, many of which remain relevant.”

However, in a report to the district council’s planning committee, officer Paul Lucas said: “The development would provide acceptable living conditions for future occupiers and would not result in conditions prejudicial to highway safety and would also provide an appropriate market housing mix.”

The committee was expected to make a decision on Wednesday.

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