THE head of a residents' protest group opposing plans for a detached five-bedroom house in a Welford-on-Avon garden, said he was "absolutely delighted" at Stratford District Council’s planning committee west’s decision to refuse permission last week.
Applicant James Kimpton planned to demolish the existing brick outbuilding at Laurel House, in Church Street, then build a new two-storey detached house and create a new vehicle access.
Branded as an “act of garden grabbing” by Welford Parish Council, the site was the side garden area to Laurel House—a large, traditional, linear property which was formerly two houses.
Bill Cole, who headed up the residents’ protest group, told the Herald after the decision to refuse the demolition and full applications: “I’m absolutely delighted. We worked hard, we must have spent hundreds of hours sending letters, etc.”
More than 60 angry residents attended the planning meeting and cheered when both applications were refused by two votes to six.
The parish council objected to the application as the village’s housing needs survey in 2008 showed that 17 affordable homes were needed and highlighted the already disproportionate number of five-bedroom houses in the village.
In 2010 residential gardens were reclassified as greenfield land and not as previously developed brownfield land.
The parish council said: “As such the development of this site should be resisted as an act of garden grabbing” and added that Church Street was a picturesque rural lane in the centre of the conservation area and it did not believe that the development would preserve or enhance the character of the conservation area.
Other grounds for objection included design issues, archaeology, access issues and highway safety, as well as concerns that the development would exacerbate the drainage problems at the junction of Quincys Leys and Binton Road.
Ward member Cllr Peter Barnes (Lib Dem, Welford) also objected to the application, raising concerns about the highway, access, car parking and conservation area. He said: “This house is too great in size and bulk. And space at present is part of the street scene. This application should be refused. Don’t kill our village.”
There were 101 letters objecting to the application raising similar and other concerns.
The design and access statement submitted by Stansgate Planning on behalf of Mr Kimpton, concluded: “The proposed new dwelling is of the highest architectural design and will be constructed using materials which respect and enhance the local streetscape.
“The proposal will have no harm on the neighbour amenity and will improve the character and appearance of the conservation area and the setting of nearby listed building.”
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