‘Can we approve it?’ ‘Yes, we can’, says builder Bob

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NEIGHBOURS clashed over plans for a bungalow extension over concerns the plans would block light and eliminate privacy.

Conflicting claims were made from both sides over the application, in Hayling Rise, High Salvington, last Wednesday.

Applicant Bill Sahota attempted to convince Worthing planning committee that his extension would not have a detrimental impact, enlisting help from supporters including builder Bob Dodds.

And after guidance from council planners, who argued the development would be ‘tolerable’, councillors approved the plans.

Objecting to Mr Sahota’s plans, neighbour Trevor Andrews said: “We bought our bungalow less than two years ago because of its very sunny aspect, excellent light, full sunshine throughout the day, pleasant outlook and total privacy.

“If this planning application were to be approved, all this would disappear at a stroke.”

The proposal, which included a two-storey extension, was an amended application after similar plans were refused last year.

Planning officer Peter Devonport, who said the previous plans had a ‘strange roof arrangement’, felt the new designs were acceptable.

This was despite numerous objections from neighbours, ward councillor Heather Mercer and High Salvington Residents’ Association.

Mr Devonport said the key issue of light was complex but he believed the impact on adjoining properties would not be severe. He said: “I have taken the view that, on balance, the impact is not going to be one that is unacceptable. No-one is saying there won’t be an impact but they have done enough to make that impact tolerable.”

Mr Devonport was backed by Mr Sahota’s supporters – Mr Dodds and ‘unbiased’ property converter Ryan Davis. Mr Sahota claimed they had evidence to dismiss concerns over light but did not produce any technical documents.

Ultimately, the committee supported the judgment of Mr Devonport, approving the application by six votes to one, with one abstention.

Councillor Edward Crouch said: “The design is interesting – it is a bit odd and I don’t think it is going to win a design award but I don’t believe it to be harmful and that’s the bar we need to reach if we are going to disagree with the recommendation and say this application needs to be refused.”