Neighbours win fight against plans for Portsmouth shared house

WIN From left, Jennifer Sharp, Michael Crowley with Michael Walters, three,  Philip De Ste Croix, Sandy Loveitt, Ann Casey, Sarah Walters with her daughter Felicity Walters, nine months, Olga Wagstaff, Timothy Martin and Violet Carter.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (120687-1)
WIN From left, Jennifer Sharp, Michael Crowley with Michael Walters, three, Philip De Ste Croix, Sandy Loveitt, Ann Casey, Sarah Walters with her daughter Felicity Walters, nine months, Olga Wagstaff, Timothy Martin and Violet Carter. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (120687-1)
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NEIGHBOURS have won their battle to stop a house being converted into a shared home.

Councillors unanimously voted against turning a three-bedroom property in Copythorn Road, Copnor, into a multiple occupancy house for four people at a public meeting yesterday.

Members of the city council’s planning committee decided it wouldn’t be in keeping with the rest of the street, which is made up of single homes.

The plans – which were opposed by 25 out of 38 homeowners in Copythorn Road – included a rack for four bicycles and separate wheelie bins in the front garden of the home.

Each of the four bedrooms in the two-storey building would have had an ensuite bathroom.

Tim Speakman, who lived in Copythorn Road until he got married in 1986, said the decision was a victory for the residents.

‘I’m delighted by the outcome,’ he said.

‘The street is already saturated and proving difficult for the residents because parking is a problem.

‘It would have meant five extra cars in a very small area.’

Developers had revised their initial plans of making the house into five bedrooms because councillors saw it as an overdevelopment of the site.

But the revised floorplan – which would have seen the fifth bedroom being used as a storeroom instead – wasn’t enough to swing the vote.

Ann Casey, 40, who has lived in the road for 26 years, said: ‘This was the wrong application for the wrong house in the wrong area.

‘This is a quiet residential area and all the people who live here have done so for many years.

‘Multi-occupancy houses attract people who only stay for a short period of time.

‘They don’t get actively involved with people in the local area.

‘We were never against it being used as a family home because we’re close to schools and recreational facilities.’

Lib Dem councillor Lee Hunt said: ‘This development would have been completely out of character with the rest of the immediate area.’

The decision could be challenged by an appeal by the developers.