Plans to build over a pensioner’s garden have today been backed by councillors by just two votes, despite concerns over parking.
Georgina Petermann, 84, has lived in her Bishopstone council house all her life, but the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust (VAHT) can now build a home over part of her land after Aylesbury Vale District Council’s development control committee gave them the thumbs-up.
The controversial Moreton Lane scheme will see four trust-owned garages demolished to make way for the three-bed house.
Six parking spaces will be provided, two for the new home, but village residents have argued this will not be enough because of ‘informal’ parking that takes place in the area.
The parish council and residents say 10 spaces are needed to accommodate everyone that will park in the area and that the loss of the garages will reduce parking in the area. The trust only counts the garages as four parking spaces, but four or five other vehicles often park in the space in front of them.
Villager Peter Gehnich said: “I understand it’s a good thing to try and address a deficit in housing.
“What isn’t good is that as a result of that a significant number of people get their lives blighted.”
Councillors were told by planning officers that it was not VAHT’s responsibility to accommodate ‘informal’ parking.
The trust says the development will help deal with the lack of rural social housing. The last time one of its homes in Bishopstone became available 50 families applied to live in it.
However, the two district councillors for the area who were at the meeting, Brian Foster and Judy Brandis, both opposed the idea.
Mr Foster said: “I support the housing trust’s efforts to use land in their control to build more affordable houses.
“However, this is an application which I cannot support.
“Squeezing one new house onto this site is possible, but that house would have to be shoehorned into that space.
“It would cause serious parking and road safety problems for the existing residents.
“The benefit of providing one new house is strongly outweighed by the cost of losing resident parking.”
The trust says even after the new home is built, Mrs Petermann will still have a garden in excess of 20 metres.
Following the debate, seven councillors backed the scheme, with five opposing it.