CIVIC chiefs rejected controversial plans to build a home in a Winchester suburb.

The city council planning committee voted 8-1, in line with officers’ recommendations, to refuse plans which would see a modern two-bedroom dwelling built in the garden of The Corner House, 15 Bereweeke Close.

The plans sparked 33 letters from residents objecting, with concerns ranging from overdevelopment of the site and highway safety, to the impact on neighbours’ amenity and the character of the area.

Planning officers urged refusal stating that the current plans would result in cramped and incongruous development, and harmful to the visual amenities and character of the area.

Speaking on behalf of residents, Cllr Anne Weir said that the current scheme does not make a positive contribution to the area and if approved would give a green light to the irreversible erosion of the area. They would point to the example of Chilbolton Avenue which has seen much ‘infill redevelopment’ in the last 10-15 years.

Architect Chris Carter, speaking in favour of the development, said that the council could only issue a refusal if the plans can demonstrate harm, and that there was no demonstrable reason why this should be refused, and as such his clients, N Petford and Gina Cherrett would appeal.

Cllr Eileen Berry, former mayor, who voted against the plans, said that the site’s proposed exit onto Bereweeke Road would create a hazard for schoolchildren and other users of the already busy road.

She added that the proposed turning circle to avoid residents having to reverse into the property’s driveway was a “sprat to catch a mackerel.”

Meanwhile, Cllr Ian Tait, the only councillor to vote in favour, said that the development was not unlike others in the area and that although objectors talk about the ‘Sylvanian’ character of the neighbourhood, many properties have no trees, and that he would be fascinated to see the result of an appeal.