WINCHESTER planners have been accused of acting ‘malignly’ over a long-running planning battle.

It comes after another planning application was submitted for a Colden Common home that has seen previous refusals.

Applicant Jane Ratcliffe is once again seeking permission to keep an outbuilding for use as an office and games room.

It follows a string of refusals and appeals for proposals at Brown Eaves, 170 Main Road, which planning agents Wessex Planning says has resulted in Ms Ratcliffe suffering a mental breakdown.

Just weeks ago, Ms Ratcliffe had a ‘Lawful Development Certificate’ refused by Winchester City Council, leading to a new planning application being submitted.

As previously reported, an appeal had been launched last year to keep the outbuilding as accommodation while works were carried out.

That followed a planning inspector overturning a decision by Winchester city councillors to reject a redevelopment at the property.

However, on this occasion a planning inspector threw out the appeal, saying it was “tantamount to a new dwelling”.

The saga started with planning applications to redevelop the property and retain the building for temporary accommodation both being rejected by a planning committee in 2017, following a number of objections.

Councillors had feared that, following a number of planning applications in recent years, the house would continue to grow in size.

Councillors also raised concerns that the ancillary building in the property’s back garden would become permanent accommodation due to its design.

According to the plans, the work on the main house has now been completed. A planning statement by Wessex Planning added: “The negative assertions about the use of the building have always been incorrect, never validated and based wholly on supposition rather than evidence.

“It is of no surprise that as a result of the repeated refusals of planning permission and lawful development certificates, and now the serving of an enforcement notice which requires the demolition of the building (a remedy considerably beyond what is reasonably required), the applicant has suffered a mental breakdown.

“Any objective analysis of the planning history would lead an impartial and experienced planning professional to wonder at a planning system that can be used in such a malign manner against an applicant who has simply wanted to redevelop an existing dwelling and construct an incidental outbuilding.”

The plans have so far received one letter of support, and one objection which has come from Colden Common Parish Council.

The parish council clerk wrote: “It is inappropriate development in the countryside.

“Given the long planning history of the site the parish council requests that this application is determined by the Winchester City Council Planning, Development and Control Committee and that a site visit takes place prior to the committee meeting.”

However, resident Graham Wiseman, of Nobs Crook, Colden Common, wrote: “ I am a direct neighbour to Brown Eves and I support the application to retain the existing outbuilding.”

Winchester City Council has been approached for comment. A decision on the current application is due by July 8.