Bungalow Extension Goes Before Planners

Council Chambers at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

Controversial plans to develop a bungalow into a 5-bedroomed family home could be passed if further negotiations satisfy objectors.

Dr and Mrs Schwarz want to extend High Pines at McFarlands Down so that each of their children can have a bedroom and accommodation can be offered for an elderly relative.

Office space is also needed as part of the redevelopment to the home, which has seen no major alternations since 1958. That’s because the couple work as freelancers.

Neighbours objected to the scale of the original plan so the applicants have reduced the roof height from 6.7m to 6.4m. A proposed rear extension has been reduced by 40cm to 6m and a conservatory at the back of the building will be trimmed down to 2.2m.

The Tugwells, who live at Minalto, objected to the height, which they believe will block their light, especially in winter. They’re worried about being overlooked too, but some windows have now been dropped from the plan.

More neighbours, Mr and Mrs Bright and The Wornes, don’t feel the plans are in keeping and are worried that the appearance of McFarlands Down will be altered by a building of the size proposed.

The Tugwells have questioned why the applicants bought a small bungalow when they required a house three times the size. And Cllr Chris Thomas was also concerned that the applicants may come back for further extensions in the future.

Planning Chair Gaz O’Neil reminded Chris they could only assess the current application and Cllr Amanda Martin felt that the site could accommodate an extended property. She said she understood the family’s desire for more space and couldn’t criticise their desire to have a bigger house.

Amanda said the development represented a generous increase but she didn’t have an issue with enlarging a small house.

Members didn’t decide on the application or defer it. The Planning Officer and Cllrs O’Neil and Martin will visit the site and see whether objections can be overcome by adding planning conditions.

If agreements can be reached, planning could be passed on delegated powers. If they can’t agree, Craig Dryden said it would have to come before the planning committee again.


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