East Hampshire District Council urged to get tough on garden grabbing

WORRIED Councillor Sara Schillemore
WORRIED Councillor Sara Schillemore
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A COUNCIL has been urged to get tough on garden grabbing developments.

Sara Schillemore, a councillor for Horndean, wants an end to back gardens being turned into homes in the East Hampshire area.

But council officials said each case will be considered on its own merits.

As previously reported in The News, a government planning shake-up earlier this year discouraged garden grabbing.

Planning minister Greg Clark described back gardens as ‘precious urban oases’ that councils should be allowed to protect.

But there is no national limit on back garden development and each council has to take its own stance.

Cllr Schillemore’s comments come as East Hampshire District Council approved plans to build a detached house in a former back garden in Yoells Lane, Lovedean.

Horndean Parish Council objected to the plan, calling it over-development.

Six written objections were received by the council, describing the plan as ‘urbanisation of a rural area’.

But councillors voted six to four to approve the plans, put forward by Peter Ernest Homes.

The application got support as four houses have already been approved in nearby back gardens.

On future garden grabbing, Cllr Schillemore said: ‘It should be discouraged.

‘Horndean is full of houses with decent-size back gardens that give children room to play. They have been eroded by back garden development.’

Garden grabbing has been a topical issue in the area in recent years, with some people selling off chunks of garden to developers.

Last year, councillors at Havant Borough Council voted unanimously to refuse plans for 14 homes along the bottom of eight gardens in Frogmore Lane, Lovedean.

They said it would create a concrete jungle of cramped houses.

But officials at East Hampshire said the latest application was not detrimental to the character of the area.

Steve Proctor, principal planning officer for the council said: ‘The test is determining what is and is not appropriate. There are many factors which can affect this decision, such as the impact on the character of the area, amenity issues and suitable access, and each case is taken on its merits.’