A HOUSE described as "gone mad" and a "monster" has been allowed to be extended.

City councillors on the planning committee disliked the scheme but said there were no planning grounds to reject it.

Dean Churcher applied to put a 3.5m first floor extension on Long Ash on Pitcot Lane, Owslebury.

Members of the city council planning committee expressed concern about the way the house was growing. Cllr Mike Read said: "This is a property that seems to have just gone mad."

Cllr Russell Gordon-Smith said: "It's a bit of a monster, isn't it? But I don't know on what grounds you can refuse it. The overlooking is not going to be any worse than at the moment."

Cllr Brian Laming said there has been non-compliance with planning requirements, including damage to a reptile habitat. "Are we entitled to grant this now?It seems to me we just letting them and rolling over."

The legal advice to the planning committee was that any enforcement issues could not influence a decision on the current application.

Next door neighbour John Foster objected. "Since 2014 we have lived with significant development, with eight applications and one appeal. There is building more of less every year. When will this level of development end?"

He was supported by Paul Bowes, of Owslebury Parish Council, who said the house was now "too big and over-bearing."

Mr Bowes said creating such large houses in the village would push up property values and price out young families, "threatening the future of our successful village school."

The house replaced a small bungalow of 130 square metres, and is now 443 square metres.

Neither Mr Churcher nor any agent were at the committee to speak about the development.

Committee chairman Therese Evans said: "I regret the way we have allowed this extension to happen. I feel very sorry for the neighbours who originally lived next to a very small bungalow and now live next door to a very large house with a balcony with constant building going on. I would like to refuse this but don't think there is any valid planning reason to do so.

"It has been allowed by incremental creep to become a very large house."

The committee voted to approve by five votes to two, with one abstention.