Saturday, 04 December 2021

Neighbours object to new house ‘like agricultural building’

Neighbours object to new house ‘like agricultural building’

NEIGHBOURS have opposed plans for a new house in Lower Shiplake.

Michael and Jemma Ayerst want to replace a detached two-storey dwelling in Northfield Avenue with a larger, four-bedroom property which would be a mixture of one and two storeys.

Their application to South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, says the new house would have a contemporary design in keeping with the surrounding area.

A planning statement by McGonigle McGrath Architects says: “Elsewhere along Northfield Avenue, a mixture of styles prevails, both period and modern, with differences in form, massing and materiality.

“The design intent is to create a bright and functional living environment for the clients and their family, which is intrinsically connected to the private garden.

“The proposal sits below the ridge levels of the adjoining properties and has a lesser impact in terms of height than other recently approved applications in the area.”

Rachel Davis and Matthew Ford, who live next door, have objected, saying: “We have significant concerns and feel we have no other choice than to strongly object.

“[The proposed house] has a significantly larger footprint than the current dwelling. We are concerned about the loss of natural light through three windows we have on the first floor.

“We also object to the proximity of the development to our boundary, which is significantly closer than the existing dwelling and looks to leave a very small gap between the two properties.

“There also looks to be a balcony area, which effectively provides a viewing platform to the bottom
section of our garden that would result in loss of
privacy.

“As a family with small children, we feel the impact of a development this size and scale would result in significant noise and disturbance.

“We have only recently moved into our property and have been looking forward to enjoying our first year as a family.

“While we understand the applicants’ desire to maximise the footprint on a new build, we feel this should not be at the expense of the immediate neighbours.”

Richard and Dot Owen, of Manor Wood Gate, say: “The proposed design [extends] so far down the garden that it impacts on many neighbouring homes.

“In particular, the inclusion of a balcony on the rear wall results in direct line of sight into our home — into the room we use most — and on to our outside sitting area.

“Houses along the entire length of Northfield Avenue vary one to another but one feature is everywhere —
traditional design.

“The application refers to another contemporary design in nearby Bolney Trevor Drive but the fact that one out-of-character building exists does not mean that another should be added, particularly if it would be so close to the road.

“The proposal looks more like an agricultural building, supporting the view expressed by the planning officer in the pre-application exchange, namely that the scheme would cause a greater level of harm to the character and appearance than the level of interest it would add to it.

“Another point of agreement with the planning officer is how badly the proposal fits with its immediate neighbours.”

Planning officer Simon Kitson told the Ayersts that the proposal was acceptable in principle but he had concerns about the scale and form of the house and the impact on the character of the area.

He said: “I do not consider the scheme would accord with the design objectives of the development plan and I am concerned at the potential impact upon the amenity of the adjacent properties.

“The overall footprint of the dwelling appears disproportionately large and deep when set against the other dwellings within the locality and it would also span most of the width of the plot.

“While the overall height of the proposed dwelling would be relatively low, we do consider that the flat-roofed form of the building would appear visually incongruous when set against the traditional form and character of the neighbouring buildings.”

The district council is due to make a decision by December 1.

• What do you think? Write to: Letters, Henley Standard, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley or email letters
@henleystandard.co.uk

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