Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Council objects to shed conversion

COUNCILLORS have objected to plans to turn a shed into a dwelling.

COUNCILLORS have objected to plans to turn a shed into a dwelling.

Hugh Whitfield has applied for a certificate of existing lawful development for the shed at The Bothy, which is part of Bowsey Hill House, off Bowsey Hill.

To be eligible for the certificate, the building must have been used as a dwelling for more than four years before the date of the application.

Mr Whitfield says the shed has been lived in by “various” people since he bought Bowsey Hill House in 2002.

It was renovated in 2013 and is currently being lived in by a Leander Club rower.

But neighbours say that prior to 2013 they had never seen anyone staying in the shed as it was unfit to be used as a dwelling.

Arlene Kersley, of Bowsey Hill, said the shed’s only use in the last 10 or 15 years was as an artist’s workshop.

Diana Pitcher, whose late husband Chris Boon owned the property from 1987 to 2002, said the artist lived in Reading and only used the shed for his work during the summer.

She said: “I can categorically confirm that during the time we owned Bowsey Hill House no one ever lived in The Bothy.”

Parish councillor Andrew Luckwell said: “There’s no evidence to say that people have been living there on a regular basis but there is evidence to the contrary.

“I would normally expect to see sworn affidavits from people who have actually lived there. We know it wasn’t habitable prior to 1987 and at no point between 1987 and 2002 was anyone living there.”

• Wokingham Borough Council will make a decision on Mr Whitfield’s application next month. An application to build three extensions at a house in Charvil House Road, Charvil, has been refused by Wokingham Borough Council which said the plans were “not in keeping” with the original house and would harm the street scene.

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