A plan for homes that neighbours argued would be ‘crammed into a garden’ has been shot down.

Developers Ball and Hattersley had submitted a proposal to build two homes to the rear of 33 and 35 The Avenue in Crowthorne.

The developer wanted to build two new four-bedroom houses on a large piece of unused land between homes in The Avenue and New Wokingham Road.

The plan was opposed by neighbours, who argued the ‘backland’ nature of the development would encroach on their amenities and create a cramped space between the two roads.

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

Despite the plan being refused by the local council planning department, the developers submitted an appeal to the government planning inspectorate get it approved.

However, the appeal has been dismissed by inspector James Blackwell.

In his decision, Mr Blackwell argued the two homes would contrast with the ‘linear pattern of development’ and undermine the ‘prevailing sense of uniformity’ in the area.

Bracknell News: te location for the plan in The Avenue, Crowthorne. Credit: Farrell Design Studios Ltdte location for the plan in The Avenue, Crowthorne. Credit: Farrell Design Studios Ltd

Additionally, he judged that building to the rear of The Avenue would harm the ‘verdant’ and secluded character of the land and the neighbourhood which occupies it.

Mr Blackwell added: “The proposal would risk establishing a harmful precedent for backland housing, which would make future applications for similar development difficult to resist.

“In turn, this could lead to further incremental development within this same location, which would erode the sense of openness, verdancy and seclusion which typifies the land.”

READ MORE: Appeal to get rejection of 226 homes plan between Bracknell and Crowthorne overturned

The site is located in Crowthorne, in the Wokingham Without ward governed by Wokingham Borough Council.

The plan was refused by the council’s planning department in August 2021, prompting the appeal that was lodged in the summer last year.

Bernadette Mitra, one of the neighbours who opposed the plan, said: “We are only too happy with the decision by the Planning Inspectorate.

“It was concluded that, by virtue of its backland location, the placement and excessive size would fail to integrate with the surrounding area, resulting in a harmful tightening of the urban grain and harm to the character of the area.

“However, a group of very concerned residents in The Avenue have said they would like to see backland development prohibited at national and local level.

“They have also stated that they would still like Wokingham Borough Council to push ahead with the revised local plan which the previous administration was planning.

“We all live in hope that the current administration would finalise the local plan with a sense of urgency.”

Mrs Mitra referred to the Wokingham Local Plan Update process, with the council’s previous Conservative administration revealing its plan for the area in November 2021.

However, the Local Plan Update is now being revised by the Liberal Democrat administration, which came to power in Wokingham following the Local Elections in 2022.

You can view the refused application for The Avenue by typing reference 211770 into Wokingham council’s planning portal, and the appeal decision on the planning inspectorate website using reference APP/X0360/W/22/3291746.

The appeal was dismissed in November 2022.