PLANS to build an extension at a listed building near Winchester have been rejected by the narrowest of margins.

The application, which was deliberated by Winchester City Council's planning committee, sought approval to replace the existing shed with an extension that would be linked by a passageway to the listed Ivy Cottage, in Avington Road, Avington.

Sarah Tose, a planning officer at the city council, had recommended the application by Mr and Mrs Day-Robinson be refused, arguing: "The proposal would harm the significance and setting of the listed building".

Ms Tose said it would be harmed by the plans' "elongated length" and "cellular built form".

However, the application, which was amended, received 16 letters of support. Prior to the changes, it had received four letters of support and one objection.

Addressing the planning committee, Itchen Valley Parish Council chairman Patrick Appleby said: "We have supported it and still do. We understand the planning authority doesn't like the design. In fact, we do.

"It's (the extension) actually an improvement on the shed that is already there.

"A more modern design building would be alien to the area and would stick out like a sore thumb."

Noted Winchester architect Huw Thomas, who was the scheme's agent, added: "I cannot see how on Earth [the plan] harms a listed building.

"I don't understand where I have gone wrong."

Debating the plans, Cllr Frank Pearson said: "I find this quite a difficult one to judge. I don't fully understand how this is not acceptable," a view echoed by Cllr Jane Rutter.

However, councillors Tony Bronk and Therese Evans disagreed. Cllr Bronk said: "My own thought, particularly showing views from the road... I think that will be particularly noticeable from the road. For me it doesn't reach the high quality design." Cllr Evans said: "I do agree with our historic environment offer," adding: "We all have a great deal of respect for Mr Thomas and the work he has done in Winchester."

A vote on the application ended in a tie, with Cllr Evans casting the deciding vote as chairman to reject the plans.