Bungalow in backyard rejected in Sandwell

Plans to build a bungalow in a back garden in Sandwell have been rejected after concerns about the privacy of children and traffic safety.

View from the street of the proposed plot for the bungalow
View from the street of the proposed plot for the bungalow

The junction outside of the house, which neighbours described as a “racecourse”, was of particular concern. Neighbours claimed the development would decrease visibility for drivers.

Councillors also sympathised with residents’ concerns the proposed development, which would overlook neighbour’s gardens, would mean the owners will be watching the neighbour’s children “more than they do.”

A spokesperson for the concerned residents said: “I just hope that you people understand we’ve all got children and my children will not play in that garden once they’ve signed the development because they’ll be watching my children more than I will. A few of our neighbours have fallen ill due to stress who have lived there for over 32 years and you know I feel really sorry for them.”

The spokesperson also expressed concerns about an increase in traffic accidents due to poor visibility. “We’ve seen people nearly get run over on that bend. I know when you guys saw it today it was quiet but if you come at five o’clock it’s like a racecourse for people to cut through the traffic.”

This is not the first time plans at this address have been refused. A previous application for a larger development was also rejected citing similar concerns. The council’s own planning policy team had taken issue with the latest version of the proposal. However, Principal Planner William Stevens disagreed and put the plans forward for consideration.

Councillor Fenton said: “The council’s own planning policy team object to the proposal, as they believe the proposal would be over intensive and erode the character of the original plot structure and street scene. I’d put forward a motion to vote against this proposal in line with the council’s planning policy team’s objectives.”

This was seconded by another councillor who said: “I think it’s a gross over extensive use of compromising. We’re shoving it in and we’re just going to end up with a serious problem on that corner and so I’d like to second Councillor Fenton and withdraw this.”

The chair of the planning committee then called councillors to a vote, which saw a total of 9 refusals, resulting in a rejection of the application.

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