A controversial plan to enlarge a house in west Reading, which drew the interest of an Eastenders star, is back.

Rudolph Walker, AKA EastEnders’ Patrick Trueman, made an appearance when Reading Borough Council rejected a controversial plan at 10 Pegs Green Close in July 2019.

The application, for two storey extensions at the side and rear of the property, a single storey front porch and and a loft conversion, has now returned again in an altered form.

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A decision was due to be made on the proposal at this month’s planning applications committee meeting on April 1, which has now been scrapped as the council awaits new government regulations on how to make planning decisions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Over the top”: How the first plan went down

The initial plan, for two storey extensions at the side and rear of the property, a single storey front porch and and a loft conversion, was rejected by the committee, which called it “overbearing” and “over the top”.

Councillor Jo Lovelock said it was “like building another house around the house that exists”.

An appeal from the owner against the decision was dismissed by a planning inspector.

Plan two : “Stands out like a sore thumb”

When the homeowner returned with a second application in November 2019, neighbours once again raised concerns and the application was called in to the committee.

The new proposal which has been backed by council officers, who say concerns have been addressed because:

  • The new proposal removes a single storey extension that went up to the neighbour’s boundary
  • The front garden will remain largely intact
  • The two-storey side extension has been designed in a way which is now far more subservient

The existing garage at the back of the property would be demolished and part of the front garden would become parking, if the plans are approved.

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Nine objections have been sent to the council, with concerns including:

  • The extension is too large and out of keeping with the character of the area
  • Suspicion that the property will be turned into an HMO
  • Most of the planning inspector’s faults with the previous application have not been overcome
  • The gap between the properties in the close is a crucial factor in determining the appearance and character of the close
  • Encroachment of privacy

One neighbour said the plans would “ruin the look and feel of the close”, while another said it would “stand out like a sore thumb”.

Other properties within the close have previously secured planning permission for side and rear extensions.

Neighbours will now have to wait for a decision on this highly controversial development, which they believe would change the face of the quiet residential close.