Tuesday, 01 December 2020

Designer’s home extension plans upset her neighbours

AN interior designer who wants to extend her home has won the support of Henley town

AN interior designer who wants to extend her home has won the support of Henley town councillors despite objections by her neighbours.

Niki Schafer wants to build a two-storey extension at the front of her detached house in Walton Avenue and a single-storey side extension.

Next-door neighbours David and Kursha Woodgate complained that they would suffer a loss of light from the front extension.

They said: "The extension will be visible from our upstairs bedroom and will reduce light into the room.

"On the side we have two windows with one upstairs for the bathroom and one downstairs as a study.

"Light for these rooms is predominantly down the side walkway from above and the front of the house. The proposed extension at the front would significantly reduce light into these rooms. In addition, the light is further reduced by the fact that the proposed new roof extends beyond the current side of the house and over the existing walkway."

Mrs Schafer told the town council’s planning committee: "From a 45 degree angle there’s plenty of light and I really don’t think there’s an issue there at all."

Peter and Hilary McGeown claimed their main bedroom would be "significantly overlooked" from the "protruding" front extension, especially when the trees were not in leaf.

They added: "The proposed extension would sit in negative contrast to the current otherwise harmonious street scene and appears to sit so far forward that it will detrimentally affect the overall look of the avenue."

Leo Lambert claimed the front extension would be out of keeping with the street as it would not be red brick.

Mrs Schafer, who is director of the Henley House and Garden Show, said she planned to extend to the same line as neighbours had a few years ago.

She acknowledged there were a lot of red brick houses in the road but also render, timber and pebbledash and said her design was not "super zany, modern, in-your-face contemporary". "I’m an interior designer so I really appreciate the planning process," said Mrs Schafer.

Members of the committee voted by three votes to two, with two abstentions, to recommend the application is approved by South Oxfordshire District Council.

Councillor Sam Evans said: "Practically all the houses are behind trees and set back so I don’t think uniformity should come into consideration."

But Councillor David Nimmo Smith said: "I don’t like the front face they are proposing. It’s not contemporary at all, it’s the kind of thing built in the Seventies or Eighties."

Councillor Will Hamilton said: "To me it’s overdevelopment because they are pushing out right to the line."

Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak added: "I do object to the building line. There will be a two-storey extension a metre in front of that bedroom window."

The district council will make a decision by October 2.

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