Extension to Kenilworth house approved by planners - even though it will mean a neighbour will not be able to drive their car to their garage

Councillors heard that the owners of the property on Rounds Hill were entitled to build up to the edge of their boundary as part of plans to add a single-storey extension to the front and side and convert the garage

An extension to the side of a Kenilworth house has been approved by planners even though it will mean a neighbour will not be able to drive their car to their garage.

A solicitor for Warwick District Council explained that the issue was a private law matter and not one to be considered by the planning committee when they met on Tuesday (March 30).

Councillors heard that the owners of the property on Rounds Hill were entitled to build up to the edge of their boundary as part of plans to add a single-storey extension to the front and side and convert the garage.

An extension to the side of a Kenilworth house has been approved by planners even though it will mean a neighbour will not be able to drive their car to their garage

But they also heard from the next door neighbour who said that building up to the central boundary line along the drive between the two homes would make it impossible to access their garage with a car.

Cllr James Kennedy (Green, Kenilworth Camp Hill) said: “It seems to me that we are up against a problem of the changing sizes of motor vehicles.

“When these houses were built in the 1950s it was presumably perfectly normal for a driveway of that width and a garage of that size to be easily accessed without going over into the neighbour’s property because cars were much smaller.

“However, modern cars are much larger and it therefore creates a real problem and in effect this will make it impossible for the neighbours to drive even a normal-sized modern car to their own garage.

“Do they have to accept that they simply can no longer access their garage?”

Council solicitor Max Howarth explained the legal situation: “The owner is entitled to build up to the boundary and obviously if the neighbour who can’t access their garage was encroaching over the boundary then they are not lawfully entitled to do that.

“They may have private law rights but that's not planning consideration so they would need to seek legal advice for that.”

Six neighbours had objected to the plans with drainage worries and the proposed appearance of the extension also among their concerns.

But a report from planning officers confirmed they were content with those aspects of the application and recommended that the scheme be given the green light.

Cllr Kennedy added: “This is not entirely satisfactory and is not great for the neighbours but I do not see that we have any planning reasons to refuse.”

The committee voted unanimously in favour.