A WINCHESTER developer has narrowly lost a bid change a housing scheme after councillors opted to reject plans by a single vote.

The city council’s planning committee debated a proposal to alter designs at the Southgate site, in Cross Way, Shawford.

It would have seen the garage extended at plot 3, with two roof lights added to the rear of the property, as well as two dormer windows and a roof light replacing the two roof lights on the front.

It follows planning permission last year for the Doswell Projects scheme, which includes two five-bedroom homes, two three-bedroom homes and a two-bedroom home.

The development proved controversial, with more than 25 objections lodged against it.

Addressing the committee, Compton and Shawford parish councillor Frances Strange said a neighbour had been assured during the last application that dormers would not be used.

Robin Tice, representing the Southdown Residents Association, added: “The use of dormers will clearly improve the value. However, to do that it will devalue other properties.”

Describing Southgate as “very controversial”, he added that the application was “clear planning approval by stealth”.

Committee member Cllr Brian Laming said: “I’m very concerned. Dormer windows were under a great deal of discussion and assurances were given.”

Cllr Jane Rutter added: “I can’t support the officer’s recommendation [to approve]. They have come to an agreement and placated the residents, and then try to come back and get what they wanted all along.”

Cllr David McLean agreed, but said he could find a planning reason to refuse the changes.

The committee voted four to three to reject the plan, saying it would have an adverse impact on neighbouring homes.

Doswell Projects was behind the controversial development at 7 Stoney Lane, Weeke.