A homeowner has won permission to build a grand entrance to their home in Woodley despite objectors calling it an ‘eyesore’.

Tarun Singh, the owner of 5 Sycamore Close in Woodley, applied to build two neoclassical columns to provide a grand entrance to the home.

But neighbours and other objectors argued that the neoclassical columns are an eyesore.

Construction work had already begun, but was ordered to stop by Wokingham Borough Council planning officers and brought to the council’s planning committee yesterday (November 10) for consideration.

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The application was brought to the committee by Councillor Jenny Cheng (Conservative, South Lake), who argued the columns were ‘out of keeping’ with other properties in the South Lake neighbourhood, with Sycamore Close being located directly next to the popular lake.

Cllr Cheng said: “The white pillars will be an eyesore for residents in this section of Sycamore Close, as well as for visitors, in addition it will be an eysore for pedestrians walking around the lake as number 5 is adjacent to the park.”

Her statement was read out by Cllr Angus Ross (Conservative, Wokingham Without), the vice-chairman of the committee.

Reading Chronicle: The neoclassical pillars, which are in the process of being built, at 5 Sycamore Close in Woodley. Credit: SK Design ConsultantsThe neoclassical pillars, which are in the process of being built, at 5 Sycamore Close in Woodley. Credit: SK Design Consultants

Norman Latimer, who lives in Sycamore Close, said: “The proposed front entrance and pillars extension will look out of place and they are completely out of character for this close.”

Detailed plans for the new entrance also show two lion statues that would be placed in front of the columns.

In his objection, another neighbour Afis Ahmed said: “When I open my front door, open my bedroom or lounge curtains, I will be confronted with pillars and lions. Not really what someone wants to wake up to.

“I moved my family to Sycamore Close as its quiet, pretty, and peaceful.

“By allowing planning to go ahead, it would ruin mine and so many other residences outlook on the road they live on.

“Why should one home be allowed to disrupt the lives of 20 other families. We pay our council tax, abide by the law and follow rules, please respect our wishes.”

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However, Mr Singh and his agent Shashikanth Hallibyl argued that there are “many variations” in house design in the area, and that it would be unfair to reject the application for design purposes.

Cllr Stephen Conway (Liberal Democrat, Twyford) said: “We’d have to identify demonstrable harm to be able to refuse this application, and I’m afraid everything we’ve heard doesn’t add up to demonstrable harm.”

Reading Chronicle: 5 Sycamore Close in Woodley. Credit: Google Maps5 Sycamore Close in Woodley. Credit: Google Maps

The committee unanimously approved the plan at the meeting on Wednesday, November 10.

You can view the approved plan by typing reference 212963 into Wokingham Borough Council’s planning portal here: https://planning.wokingham.gov.uk/FastWebPL/welcome.asp