Pensioner fears Curry Rivel homes plan will ruin retirement
A pensioner in Curry Rivel says a “garden grabbing” planning application has left his retirement in tatters.
David Bates, 67, has hit out at Venture Property, the developer of land next to Acre Cottage on Stoney Lane, after it sought to add a bungalow to four new homes previously approved.
Mr Bates objected to the application for four homes when outline permission was sought in 2011.
Curry Rivel Parish Council also objected to the application on the grounds of overdevelopment, and South Somerset District Council upheld these concerns and refused to grant permission.
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However, this was overturned on an appeal by planning inspector Mike Robins as he felt “four properties could be successfully integrated into the area, respecting the form, character and setting”.
But Mr Bates has slammed a new application by the developer to put a bungalow on the site in addition to the four approved houses.
He said: “This is a blatant example of garden grabbing, solely for profit and with scant regard to the character and ambience of the area.
“My retirement is now in tatters.
“My wife and I had planned to retire here – we had lovely views and it was very private.
“Now I’m going to be able to touch this bungalow from my boundary and no one seems to care – one of the houses will already look directly into my living room.
“I can remember what it was like and how lovely it was and now all I can see is a housing development.
“It’s very depressing and it makes me want to leave the area, but I doubt I can sell my house at anywhere near it’s original value. The damage has largely already been done, but this is now going to far in my opinion.”
The application for the bungalow is a resubmission of one that was withdrawn at the end of last year following concerns from the parish council.
A design and access statement in the plans said they had sought to address these concerns.
It said the building had been moved more to the north east with the height reduced and bay windows swapped for standard windows to reduce the impact on neighbours.
It said the development “can be achieved to include provision of suitable access and car parking, and without material harm to significant trees and neighbouring dwellings.”
Agent for the developer Nick Ratcliff, of Greenslade Taylor Hunt, said he could not comment.