A plan to build two homes in a garden in Sandhurst has been refused.

The applicant Saroja Sundaramurthy wanted to build two three-bedroom homes to the rear of her property in 329 Yorktown Road.

However, the plan was refused by Bracknell Forest Council’s planning committee in part due to concerns over an access road that is used by the Mrs Sundaramurthy and her neighbours at 331 and 333 Yorktown Road.

The access road would have been used by an additional four cars if the plan was approved, as the new homes would have got two parking spaces each.

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But councillors expressed fears that the access road would get too busy and produce ‘conflict’ between drivers.

At the meeting held to discuss the plan today (Wednesday, September 29),  Cllr Michael Brossard (Conservative, Central Sandhurst) said: “I appreciate there has been a proposal since our last meeting to ameliorate the parking and access provision, the fact is that, although additionally four parking spaces provided, there remains potentially 10 vehicles.

“Not all 10 vehicles will be used at the same time, but there could be a number of people leaving and coming back from work, and I remain convinced there will be conflict in terms of the narrowness of the access which I think will create a highways concern.”

The plan was first discussed at a virtual, advisory meeting of the committee on September 16.

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Planning officer Olivia Jones had recommended that the plan be approved. At the advisory meeting, Councillor Colin Dudley, the chairman of the committee (Conservative, Crown Wood) took the recommendation to a vote, but his vice-chairman,  Cllr Brossard, who typically seconds the motion, chose not to.

No other members of the committee chose to second the motion either, meaning the committee had to meet in person to refuse it today (Wednesday, September 29.

The applicant adapted their plans by adding soft landscaping to front driveway of 329 Yorktown Road to prevent rogue parking, and making the garden of the proposed new house on plot two narrower to make the access road to the new homes wider. The access road would also be used by neighbours at 331 and 335 Yorktown Road.

Bracknell News: The amended plan for the two-three bedroom homes at 329 Yorktown Road, Sandhurst. Credit: Mrs S SundaramurthyThe amended plan for the two-three bedroom homes at 329 Yorktown Road, Sandhurst. Credit: Mrs S Sundaramurthy

But the committee still refused the plan.

Again, Cllr Dudley moved to officer Jones’ recommendation to approve the plan, but no one seconded it, which meant the recommendation failed.

Cllr Mrs Pauline McKenzie (Conservative, College Town) proposed an alternative motion to refuse the application for three reasons:

  1. Because of its siting, layout, bulking and scale, the proposed development would result in a cramped form of development providing insufficient amenity space for future occupiers and having a detrimental impact on the character and visual amenities of the area.
  2. The construction of two new homes and the increased use of the access road off Yorktown Road would constitute ‘unneighbourly development’ particularly for neighbours living in 331 and 333 Yorktown Road and 1 College Road.
  3. The development would put extra pressure on the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area.

Cllr Mrs McKenzie, Cllr Brossard, Cllr Ray Mossom (Conservative, Owlsmoor) and  Cllr Tony Virgo (Conservative, Winkfield & Cranbourne) all voted to refuse the application, with only Cllr Dudley abstaining.

A plan for one home in the garden of 329 Yorktown Road was refused and an appeal dismissed in December 2000.