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Residents rejoice as "garden grabbing" plan rejected
1:00pm Wednesday 19th September 2012 in News
RESIDENTS are celebrating after council chiefs refused a “garden grabbing” plan to build new houses behind people’s homes.
Householders in Christchurch were outraged by proposals to build five new homes in three gardens in Flambard Avenue in Christchurch, but the development has been rejected.
Planning officers decided the plan would “give rise to an unsatisfactory form of backland development”.
Planners listed their reasons for refusal and stated that the design “would constitute a cramped and contrived form of development, out of keeping with the established character of the area and injurious to the amenities of neighbouring residential properties”.
Officers also voiced fears that the proposal is within 5km of a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
And they also stated that the applicant, a Mr Willis, failed to demonstrate how the proposals will cause no harm to nearby heathland.
The planning application for the gardens of numbers 24 to 28 had raised fears about the council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA).
The planning application was made after the SHLAA identified land which could potentially become available for housing in Christchurch in order to meet a target of providing 3,300 homes over the 15 years.
The assessment listed hundreds of homes and gardens without the owners’ knowledge to meet the target.
When the Daily Echo spoke to other councils Poole council said they had also listed people’s homes but insisted landowners would have to give consent before anything went ahead.
Residents in Flambard Avenue vowed to fight the plan for their road and Nicky Prior, who lives close to the proposed gardens, said they are “very happy” with the decision.
She said: “We hope it sets a precedent and that it has stopped any back garden development.
“We would fight on whatever the result and have been really determined.”
Nicky said they are still hoping to see the SHLAA changed as her neighbours are still being sent letters from developers trying to buy their gardens.
Councillor Fred Neale, whose ward covers Flambard Avenue, said he was “very pleased that common sense had prevailed” regarding the planning application.