‘Garden grabbing’ plan is accepted by Fareham councillors

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A DEVELOPER’S plan labelled ‘garden grabbing’ by local residents has been given the go-ahead by a council.

A revised plan for a three-bedroom bungalow to be built in the back garden of 114 Locks Heath Park Road, Locks Heath, has been approved by Fareham Borough Council’s planning committee, despite the council receiving 61 letters against it.

A petition containing 912 signatures calling on the council to ‘reject the application and to put an immediate end to infilling and garden grabbing’ was also submitted.

Locks Heath resident Alison Behdoost spoke at the meeting. She said: ‘It is too big and bulky and is garden grabbing.

‘This will have a negative effect on residents and will only benefit the developer.’

Ward councillor Sarah Pankhurst also spoke against the plan and raised concerns over flooding risks.

The original application was rejected by councillors in September as they feared it did not have a big enough garden and were concerned over how close the bungalow would be to protected trees.

Developer David Newell Consultancy amended the plans by reducing the floor space by 15 per cent and moving the bungalow into the centre of the plot of land, at least 3m away from the border.

The company resubmitted the revised application which went before the planning committee.

As the original fears had been overcome, officers recommended the plans for approval, which councillors agreed with.

Cllr Peter Davies said: ‘The applicant has made an honest attempt to meet the reasons for refusals.

‘These are the issues we have to focus on. We cannot bring in new issues for refusals.’

Cllr David Swanbrow added: ‘Although the reduction of the footprint is fairly small, it is significant. Where it is now creates quite a lot more rear garden, I think enough improvement has been made.’

Cllr Keith Evans disagreed: ‘I believe the applicant has made a valiant series of changes here but I believe they are inadequate and the previous reasons for rejection remain sound.’

The application was accepted by the committee at a vote of five for and three against.