Neighbours were left ‘thoroughly pleased’ after a widely-opposed planning application to add a third storey to a Broadwater building was unanimously refused and strongly criticised by councillors.
Worthing’s planning committee met on Wednesday, October 19 to discuss an application that would have seen Glawood House on Sompting Road increased by three metres in height.
Several councillors branded the application ‘a waste of time’, as planning officer Peck claimed the impact on neighbouring properties ‘had not been adequately addressed at all’ and the plan contained ‘no details on parking’.
One of two speakers the commiteee heard, Broadwater ward councillor Paul Baker, said: “The proposal would affect the quality of life of residents nearby.
“The original building already has an overbearing relationship with the residencies nearby.”
There were 23 letters of objection sent in from residents of the roads which surround the building on three sides, some of which have a distance of only 5 metres from the exisiting building at their closest points.
Wigmore resident Paul Taylor, a second speaker, said the proposed balconies would allow strangers to look inside his house at his family, invading their privacy, and that the building was ‘completely out of character’ with the two-storey area.
Mark Best, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said: “Worthing has a chronic need for additional housing. “This development makes a small but useful contribution to housing stock.”
But councillor Louise Murphy said: “The application exploits the fact that Worthing desperately needs housing, but not at any cost. “There have been no studies on residents.”
‘Overbearing, poorly designed and ugly’ was how councillor Hazel Thorpe described the design.
Councillor Edward Crouch said the proposal had ‘not one inch’ of his support, adding: “The idea that neighbours can be so disregarded by the application is sad.
“This demonstrates the worst of the planning process.
“It is a bit of a waste of time to bring something before the committee that is not fully worked out.”
Councillor Diane Guest agreed, saying that the proposal had been ‘poorly presented’.
She said: “I am very disappointed by the application.
“It seems like throwing something into the air and then seeing what happens.” Councillor Vaughan said that while she usually has a list of pros and cons for each application: ”Tonight I have about seven cons.”
The committee all voted to follow the planning officer’s recommendation and refuse the application.
Councillor Baker said after the meeting that the result was a ‘vindication for the residents concerned’, and that it was a ‘very speculative plan’.
Wigmore resident Anthony Young, one of several neighbours who attended the meeting, said he was ‘thoroughly pleased and relieved’ by the news.
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