FOUR new houses with garages have been refused planning permission because the garden sizes are still “inadequate”.

Four properties and a single-storey rear extension on land in Chartridge Lane, Chesham have been rejected on grounds the amenity spaces do not meet Buckinghamshire Council’s “minimum requirement” – even after plans were amended to make them bigger.

Committee members debated granting conditional permission for the development to the rear of 104-110 Chartridge Lane during the East Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee, on Tuesday, August 25.

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The application was previously deferred on July 28 so concerns about garden sizes, access and bin storage could be resolved.

One Chartridge Lane resident also raised concerns about the impact on a eucalyptus tree in their garden, however tree protection fencing is included in the plan.

But members still saw fit to turn down the application on Tuesday, despite a revision of amenity space.

The applicant, Doctor Nick Lewis, sought permission for four detached properties with garage space, a single-storey rear extension to 108, and provision for an access road, parking, a turning head, and associated landscaping.

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Amended plans show properties moved forward one metre “to increase garden depths” and improved bin storage areas near the front of the site at the entrance to Chartridge Lane.

A standard 4.8-metre-wide access road into the plot as raised during a previous planning meeting is “achievable” but must be constructed prior to any other works.

Obscure glazing to side-facing roof lights to protect the gardens of neighbouring properties is also featured, and a 4 ft chain link fence with Beech hedging along the rear boundary to protect horses in the field beyond had also been agreed with an adjacent property.

The revised garden sizes of between nine and 11 metres, with widths of 14 – 15 metres are considered “appropriate to the size, design and amount of living accommodation proposed”, in line with the Local Plan, according to council documents.

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There is now room for six wheelie bins, three food bins, and three recycling boxes, considered “adequate” bin storage under council waste policies. There are no objections from either the Highway Authority or the Waste Team.

But Cllr Jane MacBean insisted amenity space in each of the four gardens does not meet the council’s “minimum requirement”. Cllr John Gladwin and Cllr Nick Rose agreed.

She also expressed concern about bin collections from infill developments, of which there are “eight or nine” on Chartridge Lane presently, and said she was in “two minds” about refusing permission.

Cllr Peter Jones agreed with Cllr MacBean about the gardens but said an appeal was a “gamble”. He was supported by Cllr Julie Burton.

By close of business, members voted in their majority not to permit the application.

Images courtesy of Google Maps.