PLANS to build a Passivhaus in a garden next to a listed 18th-terrace have been thrown out due to how it would impact the heritage of the area.

John Kane and his wife, both classically trained musicians, wanted to build the net-zero carbon home in the garden of their property on Andover Road, Newbury.

But councillors on the western area planning committee at West Berkshire Council had concerns about the location, despite praising the environmental ambitions of the plans.

READ MORE: Plans to demolish newspaper building for new flats thrown out on ‘technicality’

Jackie Milsom, a neighbour, told the committee on February 5 about her heritage worries and also the lack of garden space.

She said: “We all understand our responsibility in preserving and enhancing these historic houses, built in 1784 when this area was surrounded in farmland.

“This is a decent sized garden for a four-bedroom house — by no means large, but adequate. To imagine that space to include another three-bedroom house and sufficient garden space for two family homes, is a very saddening and depressing thought.”

READ MORE: Carwash in Tilehurst forced to close

But Annika Hatchwell, from Inspiration Chartered Architects, said the contemporary style of the design was “perfectly acceptable”. She said: “As a passivhaus, it would set an example of how homes should be built in response to the climate emergency.”

John Kane, the applicant, described the plan as a “beautifully designed, passive eco-house in our own garden”. He said: “It would create a sustainable, town centre home for us to live in. 

“[It would be] a passive home, in a wasted corner of our own garden, which is not overlooked or even seen by our neighbouring properties.”

But councillors on the committee voted to refuse planning permission, because of the location and the impact on the heritage of the 18th-century terrace.

Councillor James Cole (Con, Hungerford & Kintbury) said: “We have a duty to provide houses, and we have declared a climate emergency. But it’s in the wrong place, and we have a duty to protect  our heritage.”

Cllr Hilary Cole (Con, Chieveley & Cold Ash) said: “I think it’s a super design. I love innovative houses and the fact it’s a Passivhaus is absolutely outstanding, which would sway me in other circumstances. 

“But this, let us not forget, is proposed in a garden. And therefore, it’s a super house, in the wrong place. We have got to maintain the integrity of that important listed terrace.”