A “greedy” landlord, warned last year to “get the message” after three rejected planning applications, has come back with another similar proposal to convert a “fine” Edwardian house into flats.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has rejected attempts to turn the large house at 39 Brunswick Hill, near Reading West Station, into flats in 2018, 2019 and 2020 and planning inspectors rejected appeals from the owner each time.

In October, councillors called on the homeowner to “get the message” and submit a proposal that is “sensitive” to surroundings.

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But homeowner Eric Benjamin has come back with a new plan which, just like the one before it, is for eight flats and extensions to the side and rear of the property.

The only headline difference from the plan rejected last year is a change to the extension plans at the back of the property, with a smaller part three-storey, part single-storey rear extension planned rather than the previous three-storey rear extension proposed.

Why was the last application rejected?

The previous application, the third in three years, was to convert the “fine” and “attractive” villa on Brunswick Hill into eight flats, adding two-storey side extensions and three-storey extensions at the back of the house.

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for Planning, slammed the developer for the “greedy” plans at a RBC Planning Applications committee meeting on October 7.

He said: “How many times, how many refusal before you get the message? Not only from us, but also from three planning inspectors.

“What we want to see is a sensitive use of this building.

“Hopefully the planning inspectorate reinforcing our views locally will mean the applicant will go away and look at doing something without adding disproportionate extensions and hacking it around.

“Do something with the building as it currently is, don’t be greedy and face another costly planning appeal.”

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Councillors on the committee rejected the plan, saying the villa is “perfectly large enough” to convert into flats in its current form.

Cllr Page said councillors want to see a “sensitive use of this building, perhaps a small number of flats inside.”

And planning inspector Robert Parker, explaining his decision to refuse the plan, said the main issue is “the effect of the proposal on the character and appearance of the building and the wider area”.

He said the building is already one of the largest on the street and its scale is part of the character but the addition of the “disproportionate” rear extension would “overwhelm” the building.

What is different about the latest application?

According to the Davis Planning Ltd, writing on behalf of Mr Benjamin, the new proposal “retains the existing and historically important parts of the building”.

And they the scale of both the rear and side extensions have been reduced since the last appeal decision, “achieving a viable and policy compliant density albeit to a much lesser scale and bulk than the earlier proposals”.

The planning consultants say the previous application was only rejected on appeal by the Planning Inspector solely on the grounds of the depth of the extensions.

The re-developed villa would include one studio flat, five one-bed apartments and two two-bed flats.

The previous plan for the villa included four one-bed flats and five two-bed apartments.

But the call for a “small number of flats” has not been heeded.