Three new homes are to be squeezed on to an old driveway in Portslade despite the objections of neighbours.
The single-storey building will include a one-bedroom apartment and two with two bedrooms on land behind Rowan Close, Portslade.
One of the objectors, Don Peters, who has lived next to the site for 47 years, said that the site was too narrow for anything other “Mickey Mouse plans”.
He objected to the harm to the living conditions of neighbouring residents and said that this would not outweigh the benefits for the few residents of any new homes there.
It will have “a horrendous and overbearing impact”, he told planners from Brighton and Hove City Council.
After he spoke, ward councillor Peter Atkinson addressed the council’s Planning Committee at Hove Town Hall this afternoon (Wednesday 9 August).
He said: “This application and variations of it have been hanging over the residents of Rowan Close and Hillcourt Mews for some years now.
“There have been four applications and two subsequent appeals both of which were dismissed – the reasons being given: the effect of the development on the occupiers of Rowan Close and Hillcourt Mews in respect of living conditions and outlook.
“I have to ask what has changed?
“Although the proposals are now single storey, many if not all of the original concerns remain.
“This development would most certainly will have an overbearing effect and significant impact on the residents of both Rowan Close and Hillcourt Mews.
“The site for the proposed development is a very narrow piece of land.
“The boundaries of the development and the properties in Rowan Close would be ridiculously near to each other and I wonder if it has been considered that a boundary agreement would need to be negotiated.
“The footprint of this development is actually larger than previous applications so this would be even more cramped … and would protrude along the boundaries of at least three properties n Rowan Close.
“The construction of Hillcourt Mews itself caused problems in nearby homes and a resident in Mile Oak Road has a structural survey which shows movement and destabilisation to her house which will be worsened by any further nearby development.
“Other home owners have reported large cracks in walls and ceilings.
“I sit on the Housing Committee and we are regularly looking at ways to build on difficult to develop sites or cramped sites or garage sites.
“The piece of land that this application covers, though, is simply not wide enough and would detract enormously from the quality of life for residents both to the south and north of it.”
He quoted neighbours as saying: “There is simply no space. This will seriously affect our quality of life.
“This will be a disaster for those of us living in Hillcourt Mews. It will destroy our outlook.”
His fellow Labour councillor Adrian Morris spoke about the desperate local housing need and another, Clare Moonan, said that it was a finely balanced decision but she was in favour.
Councillor Carol Theobald, a Conservative, said: “This is a difficult site … I think the developers have been rather greedy with this application. I won’t be voting for it.”
Councillor Penny Gilbey, who represents North Portslade, also opposed the scheme.
Councillor Julie Cattell, who chairs the Planning Committee, said: “It’s a very innovative use of the site.”
The plans were approved by eight votes to three.
Afterward Councillor Atkinson said that he was “incredibly disappointed for local residents”.
He said: “I totally appreciate the need for new housing but this site is simply too small in my view. Obviously, the Planning Committee took a different view.”
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