Saturday, 13 August 2022

Neighbours lose house fight

PLANS for a new three-bedroom house in Woodlands Road, Sonning Common, have been approved despite opposition by neighbours.

South Oxfordshire District Council‘s planing committee gave consent on the casting vote of the chairman.

The 0.03-hectare site is actually the garden of a house in Baskerville Road.

Nine neighbours had objected to the plans by Hazelwood Estates, saying it would be overdevelopment.

They also raised concerns about parking, traffic and road safety, the visual impact, privacy and loss of light and potential for future development.

Sonning Common Parish Council also objected, saying the house would be out of character with the area and have a negative impact on neighbours.

But a report by council planning officer Edward Church said: “The proposed development represents an appropriate infill development within a settlement where the principle of additional residential development is acceptable. The proposed dwelling would have a design and scale that is in keeping with the surrounding built development and in accordance with the guidance contained in the South Oxfordshire design guide.

“The development would not detract from the character and appearance of the site, would not have a material impact on the amenity of neighbouring properties and would not result in significant impacts to highway safety.”

Richard and Christine Hobson, who live next door, have appealed to the national planning casework unit, which is part of the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Mr Hobson said: “The new dwelling looks over our garden, which we use for recreation as my wife is confined to a powered wheelchair. It would be in front of the existing build line and only three metres from the pavement.

“The whole thing goes against the neighbourhood plan, where we were trying to preserve the semi-rural character of the village, which is what we voted for.”

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