Friday, 27 November 2020

Disabled man wins planning fight

A DISABLED man’s plans for a new four-bedroom house in Wargrave have been approved despite objections

A DISABLED man’s plans for a new four-bedroom house in Wargrave have been approved despite objections from neighbours and parish councillors.

Jeffrey Gosling, who uses a wheelchair, has been granted planning permission to knock down the existing property and summerhouse at Watershed in Loddon Drive and build the 1,055sq m house with a garage.

In 2013, he was refused permission for a new house on the site after five people objected, claiming the building would be too big and look like a hotel.

Now Wokingham Borough Council has approved a new design which includes raising the property above flood level and having ramps so Mr Gosling can access it as well as moving it closer to the River Thames.

He also plans to redirect the Wargrave Court Backwater, which runs through the site, to create a wet dock.

Neighbours had argued that the house would still be too big compared with the existing 476sq m house.

Philip Meadowcroft, who lives in Watermans Way, said: “An appropriately sized and scaled development, suitably screened, could be achievable on the site and the backwater re-opened to permit it to deliver effective drainage.”

Tim Dore and Sarah Pomeranz, of Loddon Drive, complained that the new house would be too close to their property next door and too big.

They said the site had a history of “development by stealth” under previous owners and that several extensions were built between 1997 and 2006 without planning permission.

They added: “The proposed dwelling more than doubles the accommodation of the current dwelling, thereby increasing occupancy, traffic, use of utilities and resources within this small, sub-standard private road.”

Mike and Nicki Ryan, of Mill Lane, Shiplake, also said the new location meant the new house would overlook their property on the opposite bank.

Gavin and Jean Dunbar, of Loddon Drive, said the new plan was an improvement on the previous application but asked that, if it was approved, construction traffic should park on site and the street should be made good when the work was completed.

They also asked for the design of the backwater to be approved by the Environment Agency and for no permitted development rights to be allowed on the new house.

Wargrave Parish Council had recommended the application was refused on the grounds of overdevelopment and the bulk and mass of the proposed house.

Mr Gosling said: “The proposal is an appropriate response to the characteristics of the site and the wider area.

“The existing house is generally of poor quality construction and appears disproportionately small for its plot. The replacement dwelling would inevitably be larger but this is an unavoidable consequence of the new development.

“The overall scale of the proposed house is compatible with other houses in the area, where the existing house does nothing to complement the area. The proposal sits comfortably with the eclectic mix of styles and sizes of neighbouring dwellings.”

Permission was granted on the condition that a drainage report is submitted and that construction traffic parks on site.

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