Saturday, 28 November 2020

Neighbours protest at ‘horrendous’ plan to extend house

NEIGHBOURS have objected to a woman’s plans to extend her home.

Fiona Epsom wants to add a single-storey rear and side extension to the house in Leicester Close, Henley.

This would involve building a 10ft high concrete wall along a boundary with next door.

Ms Esom says the extension would improve the family living, kitchen and utility areas and provide a guest bedroom on the ground floor with “little or no effect on any of the neighbouring properties”.

But 11 of the other 13 households in the close as well as residents of Northfield End have formally objected to South Oxfordshire District Council.

Many oppose not only the size of the extension but also the use of rendered brick in the Henley conservation area.

Peter Lloyd, who lives next door to Ms Epsom, told a meeting of Henley Town Council’s planning committee that he had asked his neighbour to consult him about her plans but she refused.

He said the plans were “far more horrendous than any of us could have imagined”.

Mr Lloyd said: “It is seeking to replace our fence with a 10ft high white wall on the west side of the garden, which gets the sunlight.

“There is not a single white brick anywhere in the whole of Leicester Close.”

Susan Adams, also of Leicester Close, said: “The design is not inspired and the materials are completely wrong for Leicester Close, which is brick and in a conservation area.

“The proposal to build along the boundary with the neighbour is out of keeping with the other houses in the close. It is unfair to the neighbour and should not be allowed.”

Fellow resident Pat Jamieson said it would be “wrong” to allow such a huge wall to be built along a dividing boundary.

The committee recommended the application is refused on the grounds that it is overdevelopment of the site and due to the design and character of the extension.

Chairman Dieter Hinke said the development didn’t belong in the conservation area.

Councillor Sam Evans said the plan was akin to building another house, adding: “The whole street scene would be impacted.”

Councillor David Clenshaw said there were almost too many reasons to refuse the application, including overintensive development that would be out of character.

Meanwhile, two houses could be built behind Cedar Court in Fair Mile, Henley.

The committee recommended the application for a two-bedroom and three-bedroom house is approved.

Cllr Hinke said he had previously opposed applications to build on the land but changes had been made to the plans that made the development acceptable.

Cllr Clenshaw said: “My view is this is a town centre position and I don’t think that it is particularly overintensive. It is next to a block of flats and it is not taking up existing parking space.”

Cllr Evans said the development would be a good use of the space.

Plans to demolish a garage and conservatory in Ancastle Green and replace it with an extension were recommended for refusal.

The committee said the development would be unneighbourly and would change the street scene.

Cllr Hinke said the extension could overlook neighbouring properties.

Councillor Lorraine Hillier said: “I regret the loss of a garage. Parking is at an absolute premium there. There is so much on-road parking and that worries me.

“I also tend to agree with the Henley Society that it gives it that terraced effect rather than detached.”

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