THE DEMOLITION of a cottage in favour of a new four-bedroom property could pose ‘severe damage’ to a public footpath and put nearby allotment tenants “at risk”.

A planning application to tear down Ann’s Cottage, off Main Road, in Naphill, has received pushback from locals – largely over its impact on neighbouring allotments.

J Smith and Sons (Walter’s Ash) Ltd seeks approval to bulldoze the existing two-bedroom property and in its place build a larger four-bed home, driveway and three parking spaces.

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A similar application for two properties was refused in 2019. Reasons included inadequate width of access, and lack of “pedestrian facilities” and visibility onto Main Road.

Cllr David Carroll called in the current application for scrutiny.

Though an “attractive, older building”, Ann’s Cottage has “fallen into disrepair” and is “not worthy of listing”, according to council documents.

Locals however said its demolition will result in the “loss of an important and historical feature”.

Access is by a narrow track, crossing 38 allotments opposite Clappins Lane. The track is also a public footpath from Main Road to Naphill Common and Bradenham Wood Lane.

The track is the ‘only access’ for walkers and users of the allotments, according to one objector.

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Hughenden Parish Council objected to the application over “additional traffic”, ‘severe damage’ to the access road during construction, potential damage to allotments, and risk to those tending their plots.

Use of the track by large construction vehicles for the build and any subsequent damage is also a “concern” for council officers, according to the report.

There is also fear about the new property ‘overlooking’ a neighbour.

“There are 38 allotment plots on the site,” a parish council spokesperson said. “Of these, 22 are situated directly on either side of the access road.

“So, over 50 per cent of the allotment tenants would be directly impacted by increased traffic both during and after development.”

The matter is due for debate during a West Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee, on Tuesday, February 2.

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