Support for homeowner’s loft extension which has fallen foul of city planners

11 Balsdean Road, Woodingdean
11 Balsdean Road, Woodingdean

Neighbours have lent their support after a Woodingdean loft extension fell foul of city council planners.

A planning application for dormer windows in the roof of a bungalow at 11 Balsdean Road is recommended for refusal when it goes before Brighton and Hove City Council planning committee on Wednesday, May 15.

It is a retrospective application with planning officers asking for refusal saying it is an ‘overly dominant’ roof extension that relates poorly to the existing roof form.

The application for the larger dormers in 2015 was refused and dismissed on appeal by the planning inspector.

An enforcement notice was issued in October 2016 and refused on appeal in April 2017.

The householder, Mrs Ashley, had until April 25 to comply.

Ten comments of support were received from neighbours and one from ward councillor Dee Simson.

One comment, written anonymously on the city council’s planning website, said: “A while ago I noticed that they had a remarkably nice loft conversation which makes the neighbourhood look modern and distinguished.

“Recently I have heard that council is forcing the owners to change what they have built according to their taste and design.

“I find it outrageous for a country like England, where everybody is free to have their own opinion and live free as long as they are not harming the environment or other living creatures.”

Another neighbour wrote: “I can see it from my property as well as from the roads nearby and it is well-designed, modern and attractive.

“Most of the upper floor conversions to property in the area are covered in dull roofing tiles, including mine, and have a dreary uniform appearance.

“The wooden external beams on 11 Balsdean Road are much more appealing and I would prefer to see more conversions like this, and more conversions that are architecturally advanced, increasing the aesthetic appeal of the area.”

Councillor Simson, currently city council Mayor, asked for the application to go before the planning committee.

She said: “Balsdean Road is a road of very mixed and varied residences with all manner of exterior finishes.

“Many have been altered and extended over the years causing the entire street scene to be very varied.”

The planning committee meets from 2pm at Portslade Town Hall in Victoria Road, on Wednesday, May 15.