A plan to add an extra floor to a building in Crowthorne to create five more flats with no extra parking has been thrown out.

The plan was for Parkfield House in Cambridge Road, Crowthorne, a three storey building with flats and retail units.

Parkfield House currently consists of a total of 16 flats, 10 of which are one-bedroomed and six are two-bedroomed.

Developers wanted to add another storey to provide a further three two-bedroom flats and two one-bedroom flats.

READ MORE: Concern about new homes 'crammed' into garden in Crowthorne

Yet their plans were refused as they provided no new parking spaces and would have an adverse impact on neighbours.

The planning committee turned down the plans after a neighbour complained about the complete lack of new parking accompanying the new flats and the disruption to current residents and businesses.

Natasha Lamb-Guhren, a current resident of Parkfield House, spoke in opposition to the plan.

She said: “The parking standards are being ignored. This is a mixed block of four retail units and flats. There would be a shortfall of parking for the visitors and the disabled.”

Parkfield House has 29 parking spaces, with 16 going to current residents, eight belonging to the businesses housed in the building, three for visitors and two for the disabled. Therefore, all spaces had already been allocated and the developers did not add any further parking spaces into the plan.

Bracknell News: A drawing of what Parkfield House would have looked like if the plan went ahead. Credit: Fleck ArchitectureA drawing of what Parkfield House would have looked like if the plan went ahead. Credit: Fleck Architecture

Natasha Lamb-Guhren also argued that work needed to build the extra floor on top of the building would be massively detrimental to current residents.

She said: “It’s completely unreasonable and unsafe for individuals to live on a construction site for up to three years, with loss of parking, noise and pollution. Will fire safety be considered? It’s unclear if the building can even support an extra storey.”

She also expressed concern about the impact of the works on businesses located in Parkfield House, which is currently the home of Zappas Hairdressers, the Mr Wireless repair shop and the Re-Flection wellness store.

For their part, agents in support of the plan argued that building on top of Parkfield House would provide a number of benefits. Chloe Fleck, speaking in support, said: “Rooftop development is seen as beneficial for several reasons: it helps address the current housing crisis, it can considerably reduce carbon footprint by making use of existing infrastructure, it does not lead to loss of land.

“It does not increase volume of water runoff and it lowers carbon footprint of existing flats by improving the performance of the building fabric.

“I’m sympathetic to the concerns of existing residents. The developer would be required to produce a construction management plan. Rooftop development is increasingly common, many construction companies specialise in it.

“I’ve worked on projects where businesses and residents have continually been in occupation when there’s been a rooftop development.”

READ MORE: Neighbourhood plan that will set the agenda in Crowthorne for the next 15 years adopted

The plan was initially discussed at a virtual advisory meeting of Bracknell Forest Council’s planning committee on Thursday, July 15.

Bracknell planning officer Sarah Fryer recommended that the plan be approved, however, members of the advisory committee opposed by nine votes to four. Because the committee went against the officer’s recommendation, the committee had to meet in person to pass a ‘final judgement’ on the plan.

Natasha Lamb-Guhren spoke at both meetings. Cllr Tina McKenzie-Boyle (Crowthorne) opposing the plan at the second meeting, said: “We must consider residents in-situ. There will be noise, obstruction and difficulty in their daily lives, so I would like to see a plan to help those people already living there. It would be awful to live with building above their ceilings.”

READ MORE: Crowthorne salon named one of the best in the country

Aron Azouz, an agent in favour of the application, spoke on behalf of the developers at the second meeting.

The in-person meeting took place at the council offices yesterday (Wednesday, July 28).

Cllr Ray Mossom (Conservative, Owlsmoor) proposed an alternative motion to refuse the application.

Cllrs Mossom, Colin Dudley, the chairman of the committee (CON, Crown Wood) Dorothy Hayes MBE (CON, Ascot) and Ankur Shiv Bhandari (CON, Binfield with Warfield) all voted to refuse.

Cllr Michael Brossard (CON, Central Sandhurst), the vice chair, was the only councillor to vote for it.