Tuesday, 07 April 2020

Businessman appeals over ‘too big’ house

Businessman appeals over ‘too big’ house

A BUSINESSMAN has appealed after being told that his house is too big.

Davy Snowdon, a former weightlifting world champion, built the property in Harpsden Bottom 41 per cent larger than he had been given planning permission for.

Now a planning inspector will decide whether to allow his appeal.

Mr Snowdon is challenging a decision made in March by South Oxfordshire District Council to refuse him retrospective permission for the replacement house, outbuilding, access driveway and landscaping.

He is also appealing against refusal of another retrospective application in August on the grounds the house is too big.

The second appeal includes plans to remove a flat roof balcony and replace the first floor door opening with a window. The ridge height on the outbuilding would be reduced by 60cm and shuttered openings on the first floor would stop overlooking.

Mr Snowdon also proposed to remove an underground store and restore the area to how it was.

The council said the development went against the character and appearance of the area and had a the negative effect on the “landscape and scenic beauty” of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

In an appeal statement on behalf of Mr Snowdon, Jake Collinge Planning Consultancy says the modifications would mean the house fitted into its surroundings.

It says: “The planning application to modify the as-built development was refused on the basis that the scheme was considered visually intrusive and contrary to the character and appearance of the site and its surroundings as well as diminishing from the landscape quality of the site and its surroundings, including the Chilterns AONB.

“The appellant will demonstrate through evidence that the development, as proposed to be modified, represents a form and scale of development that would sit appropriately in the site and surroundings and conserve the special landscape qualities of this part of the of the AONB and its setting.”

The original house, tennis court, swimming pool and outbuilding were in a poor state of repair when Mr Snowdon succesfully applied to enlarge the property in 2015. But he did not follow the agreed plans and built an oversized outbuilding said to resemble a second house and built the underground store without permission.

Some neighbours criticised him for not following the approved plans and said the new building was worse then the former derelict site. Others said it was an improvement on the previously derelict site and had no detrimental effect on the countryside.

Harpsden parish Council was opposed to both of the retrospective applications.

It says the development should be reduced to the one originally approved.

Mr Snowdon is the founder and owner of Henley manual training firm Pristine Condition.

In 2014 he was made an MBE for services to health and safety at work and his charity work.

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