Thursday, 11 August 2022

Neighbours object to two new houses as being 'overbearing'

NEIGHBOURS have objected to plans to demolish a house in Henley and replace it with two more.

Jamie Smith also wants to create a new access in Berkshire Road so that both five-bedroom, detached properties would have parking space for three cars.

A number of objections has been registered with South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, saying the proposal represents overdevelopment of the site.

Jenny Day, who lives next door, says: “While I accept that the plot needs redeveloping, and two detached houses is not a ridiculous idea, the proposed houses are too large for the size of the plot and are not in keeping with the street scene.

“The privacy in my garden will be compromised by the first and second floor windows. There are non-frosted windows towards the rear of the ground floor that will look sideways on to my patio.”

Mrs Day said the roof height would be 1.7m higher than a neighbouring property, makig it “overbearing”.

Antony and Laura Reineke, who live opposite the site, agree that it requires “huge improvement” but say the proposed homes would be “far too big”.  

The couple say: “The roof height is too high and the style of the houses does not fit with the road. Berkshire Road was an orchard in Victorian times, so mock-Victorian houses are not appropriate.

“The roof height should not be higher than the current one — it will block the afternoon and evening light and be overpowering and overbearing.”

Helen Sperry, of Manor Road, says: “The backs of two houses with three floors of windows will overlook my garden, causing severe invasion of privacy. All third floor windows should be obscure glass.

“The rears of the buildings extend far further back into the garden than the existing building and, due to the closer proximity of two very tall houses, will create a sense of enclosure in my property.”

The Henley Society has also objected, warning of the “major adverse impact on neighbouring properties”. But Chris Mercer, of Manor Road, supports the plans.

He says: “An excellent project that will enhance the area and a vast improvement on the current, dated and ugly property.

“I particularly like the design and look of the proposed properties.”

Mr Smith, of Lashbrook Road, Shiplake, told a meeting of Henley Town Council’s planning committee that the houses would be similar to two he previously built in nearby St Andrew’s Road.   

He said: “The proposal fully respects the density and pattern of the area and much consideration was given to the scheme prior to submitting it.”

Mr Smith said Berkshire Road had an “eclectic” mix of housing styles and while the new houses would be higher, they would also be “slightly smaller” overall and would have more space between them and their boundaries compared with other properties in the road.

He added: “I do understand neighbours’ concerns but if you look at all my houses, they enhance their location.” Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak said the designs were “rather nice” but he felt that demolishing one house and building two in its place would be “unneighbourly” and overintensive development.

Councillor Julian Brookes agreed, saying: “It is too much bulk in such a small space.”

Commitee chairman Ken Arlett said he had thought he would be opposed to the plans until he visited the site.

He said: “There didn’t seem to be a reason for refusal from what I could see. I don’t think they will be as big as people imagine. They do fit.”

Councillor David Nimmo Smith, who used to live next door to Mr Smith’s development in St Andrew’s Road, said: “I had misgivings about what he was going to do but I think it is not as bad as I initially thought.

“They will end up with something that is actually quite attractive.”

The committee recommended the application is approved.

The district council will make a final decision by January 24.

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