Plans to knock down 100-year-old hut that was transported from Belgium and replaced it with a house in Southam have been rejected
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A plan to knock down a 100-year-old billet hut in Southam and replace it with a two-and-a-half storey house has been rejected by councillors concerned that the new property would mean a lack of privacy for those living opposite.
Planning officers had recommended that the Craven Lane scheme be approved, describing the hut - which was transported from Belgium and erected on the site in 1919 - as run down and in a state of disrepair.
But neighbour Alan Wright urged members of Stratford District Council’s planning committee to vote the other way when they met last week (Wednesday August 18), explaining that because of the upstairs skylights in his property on the other side of Craven Lane, his privacy would be lost.
He said: “With having the building built opposite with the dormer windows, people will look down and straight into my skylights and onto my bed.
"I’m not objecting to something being done with the hut and I’m not objecting to something being built but what I am objecting to is the height.
“Something that is nearly twice the size of your house and which is only about 20 feet away I think is overbearing. It is also affecting my right of light and I think it is infringing on my privacy.
“There are only four other houses in the street and I think this should be built in line with the others and a maximum of a two-storey building.”
Applicant Gurinder Dhaliwal said he had worked with council officers on plans that would be acceptable after an original application for two houses was rejected and then turned down at appeal.
He said: “We originally put in an application for two dwellings but it didn’t meet the council’s SPD as there was no parking provision.
"We took on board everything that was said, we reduced the height and put parking spaces in. There are many on Craven Lane who support the application.”
Ward member Cllr Andy Crump (Con, Southam South) said that while the latest application was better, there remained issues and Cllr Bill Fleming (Con, Bidford West and Salford) said he would have preferred to have seen Velux-style windows rather than dormers fitted to the new house as that would have reduced the chance of overlooking.
Cllr Louis Adam (Lib Dem, Long Itchington and Stockton) said: “Generally speaking the scheme looks fine apart from this top storey which has the master bedroom in it.
"If it didn’t have that top storey then I think I would be absolutely fine with it.”
Councillors rejected a proposal to grant planning permission and a second vote to reject the scheme on the grounds of overlooking and the lack of privacy was passed by four votes to three.