Controversial plans to ‘almost double the size’ of a house on a quiet cul-de-sac in west Reading have been rejected for a second time.

The application, for two storey extensions at the side and rear of the property on Pegs Green Close, was refused at the first ever virtual Reading Borough Council (RBC) planning meeting last night (Wednesday, April 29).

Pegs Green Close is a cul-de-sac of 10 semi-detached houses and residents were worried the extension plans would ruin the character of the road.

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The plan, which also included a new front porch and loft conversion, had been recommended for approval by officers but Reading councillors took the side of neighbours.

Local ward councillor Jo Lovelock led the opposition to the plans, saying the application “seeks to double the size of the property” and “minimally different” from the first application.

But she added that residents would be happy with a smaller extension.

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Cllr Rowland, heritage lead for RBC, said the two-storey extension would create an imbalance on the close and the plan “has not changed substantially enough from the first application”.

She said a single storey extension would be more appropriate.

The applicant and residents in opposition were only able to contribute in writing, as there is currently no provision for public speaking at council meetings.:

Six out of nine neighbours wrote in to oppose the plans, raising “major concerns” how big the property would become and the resulting loss of privacy and light and impact on the character of the close.

Neighbours also raised concerns that the applicant would turn the house into a HMO.

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This first proposal, rejected last year, was described by councillors as “overbearing”, “over the top” and “like building another house around the house that exists”.

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

An appeal from the applicant was then refused by a planning inspector.

The most recent proposal has made changes to the original application, including:

  • Removing a single storey extension that went up to the neighbour’s boundary
  • Keeping the front garden will remain largely intact
  • Designing the two-storey side extension in a way which is far more subservient

The applicant said she had taken on board comments from the last committee and the planning inspectorate and  made amendments to remove aspects of the proposal that were causing impact to her neighbours.

These changes won council officers’ support but did not convince neighbours and did not get the all-important backing of councillors on the committee.