DEVELOPERS will knock down part of a listed building in Streatley so builders can get access to build a six-car garage.

The owners of West Streatley House, on the high street, are planning to knock down a side extension and rebuild it with more “in-keeping” bricks.

But neighbours objecting to the plans said it was “excessive” to knock down part of the Grade-II listed building for minor works, and claimed the demolition was intended to allow temporary access for builders to the back of the property.

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The owners also have plans to build a conservatory and six-car garage to the back of the house. Maria Peralta, a planning agent representing them, admitted getting access was one reason for demolishing the extension.

The windows and bricks of the current extension, which is used as a utility room, don’t match the rest of the building. Conservation officers at West Berkshire Council welcomed the plans and said the new building materials would be an improvement.

Lloyd Jenkins, a neighbour, wrote to the council objecting to the plans, on behalf of 11 nearby households.

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He said: “Clearly, the scope of these works does not require the entire extension — a listed building — to be fully demolished and rebuilt; a purpose serving only to achieve the (irrelevant) access.

“If consent is granted, the applicant will use temporary access to build a garage and standing area for six cars in the garden.”

But Ms Peralta said the plans had been the subject of inaccurate rumours on social media, and some people in Streatley supported the refurbishment.

She said: “West Streatley House is in a sad state of repair and in urgent need of the construction programme commencing. The refurbishment and extension will benefit the property for many years to come.

“Our client is currently living in a rented property and ultimately is wanting to start work on site, to be able to live in the house as her main residence and thrive within and the local community.

“West Streatley House will be allowed to embrace its standing as an asset of Streatley’s high street.”

Councillors on the eastern area planning committee were split on the plans, raising concerns about builders caused extra traffic on the already congested high street. They considered the proposals at a public meeting on May 13, and granted planning permission.

Cllr Alan Law (Con, Basildon) said: “Traffic congestion and parking on the high street is the number one issue in the village. Constructors and workmen parking in the remaining spaces will worsen the problem.”

Cllr Graham Pask (Con, Bucklebury) said: “It’s demolishing a sub-standard utility room, that’s what we have to focus on. It is listed, but of no merit, with machine made bricks and plastic guttering. And it will be of a much higher standard.

“There’s clearly the motive where this would provide you with access to do works at the back. But those works have already been approved.”

As a condition on the planning permission, builders will be told to park somewhere other than the high street, and deliveries will be stopped from happening too early or late in the day, to avoid clashing with the rush hour.