Friday, 22 February 2019

Couple began extension without consent

A COUPLE have been criticised after they started to build an extension to their home in Sonning Common without planning permission.

The Perhams began work on the single-storey side extension at the house in Baskerville Road on December 1, possibly believing they had permitted development rights.

South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, launched an enforcement investigation after receiving a complaint.

The couple stopped work as soon as they were notified and then submitted an retrospective application for planning consent.

Members of Sonning Common Parish Council’s planning committee recommended the application is approved despite members criticising the Perhams. Councillor Carole Lewis, who chairs the council, said: “We are extremely surprised that it has been in development for over a month.”

Councillor Leigh Rawlins said: “The work had begun before planning permission had even been considered by the parish council, far less by the district council.

“At a stretch we could say that the person doing the development may have thought it was covered by permitted development rights but if it was the developer, there should have been no ambivalence.”

“It is hard to say the development will cause significant harm, but it is almost the principle of it.”

Richard Butler, of R G Butler & Associates, of Charvil, the agent for the Perhams, said work was halted in the week before Christmas. He said: “When I spoke to the enforcement officer just before Christmas, everything was stopped. It was all about getting the application correct.

“I was unaware we had permitted development rights removed, so we have now put in a new householder application.”

The district council will make a final decision by February 7.

The Perhams declined to comment.

The committee also recommeded approval of an application by Matthew and Joanne Moat for a summer house in the garden of their home in Peppard Road.

Clllr Lewis said it would be “enormous” and could be used as a dwelling but Councillor Tom Fort said: “We always ascribe the worst motive”.

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