TWO new houses will be built on a narrow lane in Newbury which is already facing ‘nightmare’ parking issues. 

Plans for two semi-detached houses on Edgecombe Lane, off Kiln Road, were approved last night, despite the concerns of neighbours. 

Councillors on the western area planning committee at West Berkshire Council voted four to three on September 25 to give the go-ahead. 

This was despite concerns about overdevelopment and highway safety. Edgecombe Lane already has parking issues and problems with vehicles turning out onto Kiln Road. 

However, Derek Carnegie, planning officer, said it was a ‘fairly high density residential area’ and there would be ‘no undue impact on neighbouring properties’.

Paul Goddard, highways officer, said all the proposals fit with government policy. He said the parking and access were pre-existing issues, and concerned residents had other avenues for these to be looked into. 

Newbury town councillor Gary Norman told the committee that any delivery vehicles going into the lane will have to reverse back out. He said: “Turning out of the road is an absolute nightmare. I had to do a nine-point turn.”

Councillor Jeff Beck (Con, Newbury Clay Hill), who called the application into the committee, said the site had seen two similar applications refused — although these were in 1988 and 1989. 

Mr Carnegie said things have moved on since those decisions were taken. He said: “Policies have been relaxed somewhat in terms of highways and developments in town.”

Simon Middleton, who lives on Edgecombe Lane, objected to the plans. As well as inappropriate development and safety concerns, he said there would be a loss of garden space and no space for children to play in the lane. 

Kate Cooper, the architect for the applicant, that it is an urban site. She said the design of the houses, garden, and parking, all meet standards. She said: “As an architect working to council guidance, what more can we do?” 

Gary Marshall, the applicant, said it was ‘not correct’ that the neighbouring houses will lose garden space. 

Cllr Adrian Abbs (Lib Dem, Newbury Wash Common) had concerns about big vehicles backing out onto the road. He said: “I’m not willing to put people’s lives at risk, which I think this does.”

Councillors voted four to three to approve the plans.