LOCAL residents were jubilant after civic chiefs scuppered plans to replace an existing dwelling with five new homes in a Winchester suburb.

The city council’s planning committee snubbed officers’ recommendations to approve plans that would see an existing building demolished and five homes built at 7 Stoney Lane, Weeke.

The development which would have comprised a three and four bed semi-detached house, and a terrace of two three-bed, and one two-bed dwelling at the rear of the site received 32 letters of objection from 27 homes.

Resident Loui Harmer said: “The officer’s recommendation was refused by the planning committee on grounds of the development being over bearing, out of character for the area and not suitable for the physical attributes of the site.

"Seven Stoney Lane is very narrow and steep with close neighbouring properties so it’s crucial that any new development is well designed and properly considers this.

"This was a hard-fought win for the community who worked together following their concerns over highway safety and the developer-driven intensification of this area of Stoney Lane without any provision of affordable or accessible homes. We’re all very grateful that the planning committee made the right decision.”

She continued: “The developer and their architects should take a good look at the reasons for this refusal and come back with a more appropriate proposal. We are not against ‘any’ development on this site - but we were against that particular development.”

Concerns were also raised that three of the proposed homes would not be easily accessible for disabled tenants, or those with young children.

However Jason Murphy speaking for developer Drew Smith said that the scheme was in keeping with other similar developments, and that it had been subject to a thorough design and planning process.

Mr Murphy also gave assurances that existing overlooking would be improved on the site and that a robust landscaping scheme would solve further issues.

However, councillors weren’t convinced and voted against by three to six.

Cllr Eileen Berry, who voted against, said: “The developers have shot themselves in the foot. They need to come back with something more sensible”

Cllr Kim Gottlieb added: “The Chilbolton (Avenue) effect seems to be happening here. It’s too dense, it will change the character of the area, and we should not be building new houses that cannot be accessed by the disabled.”