PLANS have been refused for a new house in Pangbourne, which would have been outside the settlement boundary.

The house, on land off the Moors, would also have been at risk of flooding.

Bob Dray, a West Berkshire Council planner, said there was also concerns about how it would affect the character and appearance of the local area.

John Higgs, vice-chairman of Pangbourne Parish Council, said the parish was concerned that the house would be outside settlement boundary, and too close to neighbouring buildings. 

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Although the parish did not formally object to the plans, he said it was a split decision and there were reservations.

Sara Dutfield, the agent for the applicant, said: “We don’t consider the site to be open countryside in its purest form. This exact type of site should be considered for development. Given the location of surrounding developments, it is acceptable.”

She said some information from the Environment Agency was ‘inaccurate’.

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Ms Dutfield said: “The site itself has not flooded in 12 years, since the applicants have lived there. With measures proposed, there’s no increase in flood risk. We’ve worked hard to overcome previous concerns.”

Mr Dray said there were three reasons to object the plans: outside the settlement boundary, flood risk, and the effect on the character and appearance of the area.

Councillor Jeremy Cottam said: “We need to defend our settlement boundaries. And I don’t see much benefit to the community at large.”

Councillors voted unanimously to refuse planning permission.