‘WE DESERVE better than this’ – that was the call from residents before councillors approved a controversial plan to demolish a Winchester house and replace it with seven new homes.

Winchester City Council’s planning committee voted unanimously to give the scheme in 8 Stoney Lane, Weeke, the go-ahead just months after a similar and highly controversial development was approved for nearby 7 Stoney Lane.

The plans, submitted by Alfred Homes’ planning director Chris Rees, will see the existing property replaced with a mix of two two-bedroom semi-detached and five three-bedroom detached homes.

Twenty letters of objection were submitted, with concerns ranging from the density of the development, overlooking on neighbouring properties, and being out of keeping with the area.

There were also fears about the width of the road, and what that would mean for safety on the already busy Stoney Lane.

Simon Hutton, of neighbouring Woodstock Court, told the committee: “We deserve better than this. It’s a poorly thought out, lazily prepared scheme. The houses are too large for the site and there are too many houses proposed on the site.”

Mr Hutton also raised concerns, that were later repeated by ward councillor Anne Weir, that the building could easily be converted to allow additional bedrooms.

He added: “Six of the seven houses will overlook a total of six properties in Woodstock Court and two in Stoney Lane.

“Other developments in Stoney Lane have had conditions imposed on first floor window heights, positions and glass type to prevent overlooking and yet none have been suggested here –why not?”

Applicant Chris Rees defended the plans: “We are looking to deliver a high-quality development.”

He added there was no “hidden agenda” and if they wanted to add more bedrooms, they could have.

The approval follows the long-running planning battle at 7 Stoney Lane. As previously reported, the controversial proposal to knock down a home in Weeke and replace it with four houses was approved in June after an initial application for five homes was rejected.