Councillors said they had no choice but to approve a house extension that a neighbour said would block light into his home, when they ruled on the dispute this week.

Owners of the house wanted permission to build single and two-storey front, and back and side extensions at the property on Old Bath Road in Charvil.

The owner told Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee he needed the extension to ‘meet the needs of a modern family'.  He said he had done everything in his power to make the plans acceptable.

But his neighbour told the committee his kitchen would get no ‘natural light’ if the plans were approved. Mr George Enoch presented a slideshow of photographs to councillors that he said showed his kitchen would get ‘no natural light'.

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He told councillors that he already needs the lights on in his kitchen on a sunny day. He said: “The only natural light it gets is from the direction of where they’re about to build a two-storey extension.

“That’s the main direction and source of light along the corridor into the back of my house. We have to have the kitchen lights on even in the middle of the summer.”

But the applicant Tino Simon said all the concerns raised by council planning officers over previous, refused plans had been addressed.

He said: “The property in its current size is grossly unfit for the needs of a modern family consisting of two adults and two children.

“I have done everything in my power to ensure this proposal plans harmoniously.” He said his neighbour’s concerns over loss of light had ‘already been carefully assessed in detail'.

Council planning officer Claire Moore said there would only be a ‘minor increase’ in the loss of light to Mr Enoch’s home ‘confined to the mornings at certain times of the year’.

But she said that ‘due to the large south-facing gardens’ the neighbour would still receive unobstructed light for the majority of the day. She said: “Therefore no harmful additional impact would be generated.”

She also told councillors that other, very similar plans had already been approved by officers and would still stand if the new application was rejected. The main difference between the two is at one corner of the front of the house, where a garage would instead become a home office.

Wokingham councillors on the planning committee said this meant they had little choice but to approve the new plans. Councillor David Cornish said: “I have considerable sympathy with Mr Enoch and the situation he finds himself in. I have some sympathy with the applicant as well.”

But he added that ‘the damage has already been done in Mr Enoch’s view' by the previous plans that were approved. He said: “What extra harm now comes of us approving this application which is substantially about that front fill-in square?”

Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee approved the plans on Wednesday, April 10.