PLANNERS have approved a scheme for a large house in a back garden of a village near Winchester.

The plan by Luke and Sarah Robison for the garden at Smoke Acre, Cross Way, Southdown, Shawford, divided opinion with 23 objections to the city council and 13 letters of support.

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Objectors said it was over-development and harmful to the local character and contrary to the 2011 Compton and Shawford Village Design Statement.

Supporters said it would not be detrimental as the property would not be seen from Cross Way.

Hampshire Chronicle: The back garden at Smoke Acre where the house will be built The back garden at Smoke Acre where the house will be built

Alice Drew, planning consultant acting for neighbours Mr and Mrs Fuller, said that at present there was no backland development on the south side of Cross Way and the contemporary design was out of character with the neighbourhood.

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Ms Drew told the committee: "There will be an overwhelming impact on the Fullers to point they will feel they are constantly overlooked."

Cllr Frances Strange, from Compton and Shawford Parish Council, said it objected because the house design was not in keeping with the area. County councillor Jan Warwick agreed, saying the "back garden development would change the character of the area and overlook neighbours".

But Cllr Jane Rutter, vice-chairman of the planning committee, disagreed: "I can't see over-development. It is a very large plot. Whilst it is not in line with the village design statement, that does date from 2011. It has been overtaken by the local plan which has a presumption in favour of development in this area. With some regret I am unable to find material planning reasons to refuse this."

Cllr Chris Edwards said backland development was already happening on Cross Way. "Almost opposite this house there are three or four backland houses. There is plenty of space between this house and surrounding houses so the loss of light will be limited. This is a distinctive design which will contribute to the neighbourhood with its variety of architectural styles."

Councillors on the planning committee voted by seven to one to pass the proposal.


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