Newly-built house in south Warwickshire may remain unoccupied due to neighbour’s hedge blocking out oncoming traffic
Frustrated villagers attended this week’s planning meeting on Wednesday at Stratford District Council to hear councillors give retrospective permission for the house on land off Banbury Road.
But one of the conditions outlined at the meeting stated that no-one could live in the property until the visibility splay on the road access was improved by cutting back a hedge - which belongs to a neighbour opposed to the plans.
Earlier in the meeting, Cllr Ian Greenall, chair of Pillerton Priors Parish Council, explained that the building of the house had prompted a number of concerns.
He said: “It soon became clear that what was being constructed was not to the approved plans so, along with residents, we raised concerns with enforcement.
“At this point, most builders would stop and correct their error but not in this case and the build continued to completion without appropriate planning permission or any dialogue with the parish council.
“The officer states that he cannot monitor developments and the statement sets a very dangerous precedent with developers building whatever they want with minimal planning approval. This developer has done exactly that and we are left to suffer the consequences when he walks away with his profit.”
Miranda Rogers, planning agent for the applicant, said it was regrettable that errors had been made but said it was important that the committee considered the plans as a new application and one that was recommended for approval by officers.
She added that the visibility splay to the front was acceptable otherwise there would have been an objection from the county council’s highways department.
But committee chair Cllr Peter Richards (Con, Snitterfield) disagreed. He said: “I am very conscious that while a visibility splay can be achieved, it cannot be achieved to the right without significant hedge cutting and/or removal. While on site today I was told that the hedgerow is in the ownership of the neighbouring property and I understand that they are objecting so whether those visibility splays can be achieved or not is in question."
“If we are minded to grant then I think we must have a condition that says the visibility splays need to be achieved before occupation - those bushes and trees need to be removed.”
Councillors added that condition and voted to approve the plans by seven votes to two with two abstentions.