A council has been accused of ‘being a dictatorship’ over the approval of two new homes in a Berkshire village.

George Levy who owns a home in Charvil has been left dismayed over a developer’s project to replace a bungalow with two semi-detached homes.

The new houses will have three bedrooms, two parking spaces and gardens in Old Bath Road, in the place of an old single-storey home.

But Mr Levy argued that the project will be an overdevelopment and much larger than the bungalow they will replace, leading to a loss of sunlight and amenity for neighbours.

He has since blasted Wokingham Borough Council, the planning authority, for the decision to approve plans.

Mr Levy said: “It was approved just before the Christmas holidays, then the developers published details.

“I feel it’s anti-democratic. It’s like in a dictatorship.

“It’s incomplete and it’s missing information. It’s going to be bad news, but that’s the way Wokingham Borough Council operate its planning department.

“It is quite dodgy. Two three-bedroom houses is a total overdevelopment.

“It’s a surprise the council approved it. [The council] needs to realise it can’t do this type of stuff.”

Mr Levy, who previously served as a Liberal Democrat councillor for Wallingford on South Oxfordshire District Council, also accused the developer of submitting full information on the plans too late in the process.

The project was submitted in August last year, but documents show that revised plans demonstrating how the homes will look within Old Bath Road appeared just a day before it was approved.

Finally, he raised fears that a study room on the ground floor could be turned into a fourth bedroom for both properties.

A council planning officer rebuffed Mr Levy’s concern, stating: “Considering the information submitted with this application, the proposed dwellings are designed with three bedrooms and have been assessed accordingly.”

However, the officer admitted that the developer would not require planning permission to convert the study into a bedroom if they wanted to.

Ultimately, the planning officer judged that the replacement of the bungalows with the family-sized homes would be acceptable on planning grounds, and that the homes would be ‘suitably located and of modest proportions’.

The project was approved by the council’s planning department on Thursday, December 21, 2023.

You can view the approved application by typing reference 231682 into the council’s planning portal.

Wokingham Borough Council has been approached for comment.