A PLANNING battle has broken out over a plan to build in the back garden of a historic Alresford house.

Mr and Mrs Peter Radford have applied to build a one-bedroom house behind their grade two listed house on Broad Street.

Their garden is one of the town’s historical ‘burgage plots’, the medieval division of land that is still evident in Alresford, which dates from the early 13th century.

The plan came before the city council planning committee, held ‘virtually’ last week.

Cllr Ann Bean, a member of Alresford Town Council, told the committee: “The town council has objected. We believe this is overdevelopment of an already crowded site in a conservation area.

“This was originally a burgage plot which in itself has great historical importance. It already has two extra dwellings. A third will interrupt the green space from the River Alre to town, a natural pathway for wildlife.”

She said the new house would exacerbate parking problems on Broad Street.

Cllr Therese Evans, committee chairman, who represents Wickham, said: “We have burgage plots in Wickham. I was told by the council’s historic environment officer that building on them is fine as long as it stays within the same ownership.”

The committee heard that the applicants, Mr and Mrs Radford, plan to move into the new property with their son and his family moving into the main house, 49 Broad Street.

Planning officer Catherine Watson said that until the 1940s there was believed to have been a building on the site of the proposed house. It currently is garden with a wooden shed on part of it.

Other plots on Broad Street and West Street have seen development on the burgage plots over the years, the committee was told.

Councillors raised several issues about burgage plots and access onto Broad Street but then agreed, by seven votes to two, to hold a site visit so they can see the area first hand.

A date could not be set as planning officers have to decide on how it can be carried out in a time of social distancing.