Monday, 16 December 2019

‘Unbelievaby ugly’ design for new house approved

PLANS for a new house in Watlington have been approved despite being branded “ugly” by a councillor.

Keith and Julie Martindale already had permission to develop land adjacent to the rectory in Hill Road.

Now they have had amended plans to redesign a single-storey side extension and increase the gap to the boundary of a neighbour’s property approved by South Oxfordshire District Council’s planning comittee.

Watlington Parish Council had objected. Parish councillor Terry Jackson told the committee: “The location is extremely important as it marks the entrance to the conservation area and the setting is crucial.

“Any building that damages and detracts from these buildings cannot be viewed as meeting our policies to enhance the natural environment.

“The council has further concerns about the design. This is a four-bedroom property and is described as a two-storey building, but the loft area could easily be converted into a further bedroom. The design does not include a garage, which is unusual for a property of this size. Any additional vehicles would have to rely on street parking.”

Councillor Jo Robb, who represents Woodcote and Rotherfield on the district council, said: “I find these designs unbelievably ugly and I am sure we can do better.

“The roof is overbearing on the street scene and it is essentially a very disproportionate and unpleasant design.”

The Martindales’ agent Neil Boddington said the parish council had objected on the same grounds as previously but that application was still approved.

“The view from the conservation area is still the same,” he said. “Neither the former rectory nor the Carriers Arms are listed or considered to be a heritage asset.

“It would not damage the skyline. We don’t think it can be considered as disproportionate.”

The committee voted by five votes to three in favour of the application.

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